Purity Ring @ Neumos 09.05.12
Few bands can understand in years what Purity Ring have managed to materialize in the 2 minutes before they even take the stage. Young, but wise beyond their years, a haunting instrumental intro leads a revamped, more rap leaning segue into Belispeak to kick off the bands set. Leaving only mere moments before Corin begins performing surgery on Megans vocals, slicing them to pieces throughout, via a control surfice hidden by what he affectionately calls "the instrument". A construction of small lanterns which illuminate on contact. Their set flies by, like time turning to butter and melting on a childhood summer day, propelled by fantastic sequencing which weaves the tracks as if to unveil a whole new story we thought we'd already become long familiar with before, on the album.
The set, easily one of the loudest if not the I've ever witnessed at Neumos is initially plagued by feedback, which creeps up eerily almost adding a piercing fog to the audio storybook that is unfolding before our eyes. Brilliant flashes of color from suspended cocoons of light burst along to the beat, proving that purity ring aren't just a lucky strike of a first record, but the each fascet of the group is hashed out and erased and redrawn to perfection before it's unleashed on us, including the out of their club league jaw dropping visuals. What band is doing this right now? Who is bringing together so many things we've seen and heard before, swallowing them and spitting them back out at us in such unique forms? I feel like I'm 5 again, cross legged at story time, mesmerized and captivated, the tale unfolding before me, spelling out each word but leaving just enough to the imagination. If there is some sort of predictable trajectory for the group it is certainly to bigger venues and what we can only hope is a more expansive universe. Afterall, Lucas didn't envision Star Wars as more than a mere film at first, who knows where the story could take not only us, but the duo as well.
Perhaps the most mind-boggling part of all this ishow polar the pieces that Megan and Corin bring to the Puzzle are. Both frighteningly brilliant in their own elements, it's the combination of the two that turns the entire thing lethal, sure Corin might have made his own striking instrumental record, and Megans story telling would give any nobel winning childrens author a run for their money, but when you pair them together it transcends to something else entirely. Mallet in hand, she strikes a lone drum, illuminating with each impact, elaborating each word with a perfected laziness. The sold out crowd slowly sways to the beat as if commanded, like blades of grass obey the wind and the set draws to a close as does the album, with a fragile and cold version of Shuck, Corin leaving the stage controlling, (though I can't be entirely sure of this) the last notes that drone out of the speakers from his Iphone. The place erupts into cheers with the stomp-clap singalong to Ungirthed still fresh in the minds of the sold out crowd. The only question left on anyone's mind being of course, what's next?