Who? Seattle band the Purrs came together in 2000 through a regular old classified ad. For the next five years, they gigged around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, toiling in relative obscurity, but a happy obscurity that allowed them to mellow and mature. The band have been through a few incarnations, but have always centered on lead singer, songwriter, and bassist Jima (pronounced “Jim-A”). Jima is joined in the band by lead guitarist/vocalist Jason Milne, guitarist/vocalist Jason Atkin, drummer Craig Keller, and keyboardist Dayna Loeffle, and the quintet’s self-titled label debut has two songs from their 2004 EP, No Particular Bar, No Particular Town, and seven more from their self-produced and released album from last year, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of. Of course, all those tracks were remixed, re-mastered, spruced up, and trimmed to perfection.
What’s the Deal? You know that song “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas and the Papas? The title sounds like a real sunshiny kind of pop fluff song but then you listen to it and realize it’s sad, dark, and utterly brilliant. That’s what you get with the Purrs, who blend the bright fun of righteously sweet guitar hooks with woozy psych-rock and a serious devotion to melancholy moodiness. Getting liquored up, which Jima sings about frequently, probably has a bit to do with all that. Like fellow neo-classicists Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Purrs deal in subdued stompers and hazy rave-ups — the kind of rock that convinces parents their kid is on goofballs.
Fun Fact: The Purrs are happy these days, with a consistent line-up and a big nationwide tour on the horizon. It wasn’t always this way. The band’s old guitarist was a woman with a knack for getting into fistfights wherever the band would roam. It’s the difference between “let’s hit the road” and “dear God run for your life!” J. GABRIEL BOYLAN
Now Hear This:
The Purrs – “Loose Talk” (Download MP3)
Talk: Is this your idea of Purr-fection? COMMENT
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