# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Puressence - Planet Helpless

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 27 / 10 / 2002

Puressence - Planet Helpless
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Third album from Manchester's perennial 'nearly men'.

Puressence seem to have been created to struggle - it's their lot in life. A critically acclaimed self-titled debut album released in 1996 failed to sell particularly well, and the follow up (1998's 'Only Forever'), whilst being a hit with fans of the band, failed to get them noticed. So here we are, four years later, with 'Planet Helpless'", the LP first due two years ago. Was it worth the wait for the scatterings of hardcore fans around the country? Comeback single and album opener 'Walking Dead' is not typical of the band. Based around a baggy drum pattern, and a thundering bass line, Jimmy Mudriczki's soaring angelic vocals once again take centre stage. A loaded shotgun of falsetto-Northern tones, Mudriczki has the type of voice you either love or loathe. Fortunately for him and the rest of the band, more people seem to be of the former persuasion. 'Prodigal Song' starts with a humming riff reminiscent of Rocket From The Crypt's 'On A Rope', but we shouldn't let that put us off. The guitars seem to be pushed to the back of the mix, a step away from their sound of old, but this works well. Next up is 'How Does It Feel', a heartfelt lament which has Mudriczki proclaiming "I don't wanna hurt you baby / We just need to carry on". A bizarre decision to employ a mariachi trumpet section pays off well, adding a further dimension to a truly sumptuous song. Proof that Puressence have moved away from the epic days of old can be found in the title track and the truly off the wall 'Ironstone Izadora' (classic line "You give me criminal ways / In a subliminal haze"). They seem to have realised that every song doesn't need to have a hands-in-the-air singalong chorus to leave an impression. 'Analgesic Love Song' tells of "big city colours" and "Intel hard sell lifestyles". It's around this point that the differences between this and their previous albums start to make sense - the increased use of drum loops, less heavy guitars, and an ever so slightly toned down vocal performance from Mudriczki. Of the thirteen tracks on offer, the only major disappointment is the UK-only bonus track 'Strangers', which starts off interestingly enough, but then just meanders a bit and ultimately doesn't go anywhere. Perhaps they shouldn't have bothered with an extra track, as this feels out of place. Any good then? Fans of the band will love it - it's less instant than their previous efforts, but after several listenings it's impossible to stop singing the melody to forthcoming single 'She's Gotten Over You', and increasingly difficult to remove the LP from the hi-fi. Non-believers in the Puressence cause would probably be better advised to check out 'Only Forever' as an introduction to a band who cannot remain overlooked for much longer. Their decision to release the poppy, radio friendly 'Gotten Over You' as the next single could prove to be a good move. Let's just hope their record company, Island, see fit to give them the push they are so obviously worthy of. Island have a track record of not realising when they have something special until it's too late - the best example being Nick Drake, who only sold in the region of 15000 records in his lifetime - let's hope they stop making the same mistakes and get Puressence out there. With 'Make Time', 'How Does It Feel?' and 'You Move Me' all strong contenders for follow up singles, they have the perfect raw materials to get these boys noticed. The world's waited this long to hear Puressence. Don't make us wait any longer.

Track Listing:-
1 Walking Dead
2 Prodical Song
3 How Does It Feel
4 Angalic Love Song
5 She's Gotten Over You
6 Make Time
7 Planet Helpless
8 Ironstone Izadora
9 You Move Me
10 Comfort When You Smile
11 Strangers
12 Heart Of Gold
13 Throw Me A Line

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