Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Sept. 9, 2011
Pure XPleasure (Acéphale)
Pure X operates with the consistency of a warped cassette, bruised and woozy. Having shed the more unbecoming moniker of Pure Ecstasy, over the course of a few singles and the EP You're in It Now, the local trio – Nate Grace, Jesse Jenkins, and Austin Youngblood – put Texas psych under a heat lamp, melting it down to reverb and melody. The band's debut full-length, Pleasure, continues in this template, though its unresolved, washed-out nostalgia falls closer to the neo-gaze of Kranky Records than Trance Syndicate's slowcore. There's a greater immediacy at work here, namely in the aqueous beach pop of "Easy" and deadbeat summer of "Surface," which boasts a programmed drumbeat and swelling bass groove. The cinder and smoke (and mirrors) that coats the rest makes Pleasure seem twice removed, but it's an insular listen, well-suited for personal reverie or a peyote trip at Devil's Waterhole in Inks Lake.