The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / Weekend Media Club, Vancouver BC November 4

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / Weekend Media Club, Vancouver BC November 4
Perhaps the Pains of Being Pure at Heart's buzz is beginning to dwindle; that would explain why the much-hyped Brooklyn band originally booked their latest Vancouver appearance for Venue, but downsized to the comparatively modest Media Club. Still, that didn't put a damper on the mood, as most of the crowd showed up early enough to catch an opening set from new Slumberland signees Weekend. The band were a good match for the headliners, although their sound typically favoured searing fuzz jams rather than catchy hooks.

Once the Pains took the stage, they didn't mess around, launching into "This Love Is Fucking Right!" mere seconds after finishing their soundcheck. From there, they scarcely even paused to catch their breath, tearing through song after song of brisk, blissful pop. Occasionally, they eased back on the sonic assault, dialling down the distortion for the jangling "Teenager in Love." For the most part, however, the songs were face-meltingly loud, an effect that was intensified by the addition of a fifth band member on guitar.

In addition to playing through much of their back catalogue, the group also previewed a pair of cuts from their new album. The single "Heart in Your Heartbreak" bolstered its gigantic chorus hook with a crunchy low end, while the other new track was blisteringly noisy, suggesting that they may be moving in a more alt-rocking direction on their next album.

They didn't speak much, but frontman Kip Berman appeared to grow more comfortable as the set went on, telling the crowd that his two favourite things about Vancouver were the band Destroyer and the TV show Da Vinci's Inquest. The charm continued during the encore, as the band had a discussion about their craving for nachos. Berman even threw in a line about nachos during the cinematic "Higher Than the Stars," wrapping up the night on a rare moment of comedy from the usually earnest pop rockers.