Based in the slumberous peninsula over the River Mersey (Liverpool’s Brooklyn, if you will) – the place that once blessed us with The Coral – Wirral has now gifted us with Pure Joy, a psych-rock trio who’ve just made their vociferous arrival with debut album, Bang Flower, via Fresh Goods/Republic of Music.
Lee Pennington (vox/guitar), Matthew Freeman (bass/keys) and Peter Flynn (Guitar) set up their own studio and wrote, recorded and produced the entire album, “We moved into a new rehearsal space, which was bigger than we’d been used to, so I moved in my computer and we invested in a couple of mics,” tells Matt. “I’ve always been into recording and after doing a few demos we realised we might be able to record it ourselves, so we just gave it a go.”
And they’re pretty pleased they did, “We loved it! It completely changed the writing process and allowed us to look at the tunes from a different angle. From a recording point of view, getting to the finished product took a long time and a lot of trial and error but we got there in the end and we now have a much better idea of what we can get out of the limited gear we have!”
The band, who describe their sound as being ‘like riding a dolphin through a hurricane made of rainbows’, told us that their twang comes from whoever their listening to at the time. “Foxygen and Woods were big influences in general but there is also lots of other stuff mixed up in there,” says Lee. “Americana, Ariel Pink, Klaus Johan Grobe, Kurt Vile, Spiritualized to name a few.”
Bang Flower features twelve entrancing songs that send you into fantastical scenery. Whether it be from the blissful waves of ‘Bubblegum Husky’, the dynamic pulse of first single ‘Katie’s Gone Home’, the timeless sleaze of ‘Thunderloop’, imaginative ‘Turner Sky’ or album closure ‘O’ Sullivan On Song’ that seduces you with its guitar interplay and final phrase, “May God Have Mercy On Your Soul” from 1997 film, Billy Madison. It’s thirty-seven minutes of exhilarating and adventurous psych-rock.
Oh, and if you find that you’ve become addicted to their bewildering energy, don’t worry, Pure Joy promise to gift you with more in the future, “We’ve got a few shows lined up over the next couple of months and European dates later in the year. Other than that we are just going to keep writing and recording and see what happens.”
Bang Flower is out now.
Upcoming live dates…
19 – The Great Escape (Underground Transmissions Showcase), Brighton
27 – Bierhaus, Birkenhead
31 – Shacklewell Arms, London
25 – International Festival of Psychedelia, Liverpool
Words: Rhianonn Mangan