Most new bands initially base their sound around elements of their favourite music, but try to create something new and innovative at the same time - it's how the vast majority of music comes to fruition. Not New York's The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Despite hailing from The Big Apple, this quartet sound like they spent their youth hanging around Jesus and Mary Chain soundchecks in Rotherham, or huddled around a cheap Walkman by the bike sheds, listening to their C-86 tape until the batteries ran out. Realising that they'd hit upon the 'perfect' sound, they appear loathe to tamper with it here.
Even when they're not harking back to British bands of yesteryear, they're looting the vaults of newer acts like Belle and Sebastian. It may sound like an odd combination, but the pop factor of this debut can't be discounted, and lead singer Kip Berman's sprightly, Stuart Murdoch-esque vocals (on the excellent 'Come Saturday', or 'Everything With You', both boosted by Peggy Wang's gentle voice) create a gorgeous contrast with the heavier, feedback-drenched numbers on display ('Contender', 'Hey Paul').
There's enough bounce, gloom, drone, jangle and buzz to satiate anyone with a love for '80s guitar pop or '90s shoegaze, particularly the glistening dancefloor brilliance of 'Teenager In Love'. 'The Pains of Being Pure at Heart' is the most plagiaristic album you'll have heard in ages, but it's still bloody brilliant.