Heavily overproduced lo-fi pop is the order of the day, as Portland, Oregon-based Pure Bathing Culture ambles through its debut full length release. Sitting firmly behind the studio desk on the album is The Shins keyboardist Richard Swift, whose influence is clearly heard and yet not quite completely perfected in its intended manner.
Moon Tides is compiled of clichéd reversed symbols, jaunty drum machines and subject matter that doesn’t quite reach the believable heights. Twins sees singer Sarah Versprille’s heavily layered vocals sit uncomfortably on something that verges on a song created for a child’s TV show, capturing the simple notes associated with a theme tune but avoiding playful elements. This is a common theme throughout the project. The album shows its warmth briefly in the closer, Temples of The Moon, as proceedings get slower and more considered.
With less production and more of a focus on the strength of Versprille’s impressive vocal ability, the band’s follow-up will be a more cohesive body of work. www.purebathingculture.com.