Published on July 22nd, 2012 | by greg0
Purity Ring: Shrines:: Review
Who knew that 2012 would be the year of the electronic music and mewling kitten vocal? There’s been a recent glut of bands that capitalize on this trend and for good reason. Kittens and electronic music are like peanut butter and chocolate, they’re two great tastes that taste great together. Wait a minute. That analogy doesn’t make any sense. Regardless, Purity Ring is the latest in a series of groups that create sensitive and atmospheric electronic music with a sense of their surrounding environment and musical history.
Purity Ring is a young duo composed of Corin Roddick and vocalist Megan James who hail from Edmonton, Alberta where they previously gigged under the name of Gobble Gobble (now Born Gold). Purity Ring was conceived as a side project that was born of Roddick’s love of hip-hop and R&B that became fully formed when James laid vocals on “Ungirthed.” After the release of “Ungirthed,” international acclaim followed and Purity Ring began work on their proper debut Shrines.
Shrines is a dense debut made claustrophobic with Roddick’s heavy production techniques. There seems to be a real weight that almost drags the compositions downwards if not for James’ surreptitious vocals. James’ effervescent vocals tend to rise above the clamoring keyboards particularly on “Fineshrine” and “Belispeak.” Elsewhere, James almost succumbs to the encumbrance of the heady production particularly on the meandering hip-hop groove of “Grandloves” and the somnolence inducing grind of “Cartographist.” Shrines also suffers because the flow of the album is somewhat indistinguishable. As you approach the coda, there might be some difficulty in keeping track of what’s what. If Shrines was disassembled, it might work better as a separate entities but that could just be personal preference. Then again, Shrines could be a grower and require extensive and repetitive listening patterns. After the exhaustive listening session occurs, there will probably be a new band with a feline vocalist to take its place and the process will begin again.