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Posted on May 14th, 2013 (5:30 pm) by Jon Rankin

Crawling Up The Stairs is the second studio album from Pure X (formally known as Pure Ecstasy) who also have a number of EPs and singles floating around, some self released some from Light Lodge Records. Pure X is an Austin, Texas group made up of three central members Nate Grace, Jesse Jenkins, and Austin Youngblood. Their last album, Pleasure, explored a similar soundscape of drowsy atmospheric haze, so past fans will not be disappointed. The single, “Things in my Head,” serves as a great indication of the mild evolution of the band’s sound has undergone since Pleasure.

As the album title suggests, the lyrics over the course of the album detail an uphill battle of personal internal struggle, and this is not surprising, considering the obstacles some of Pure X’s members faced in recent years. The variety of vocal styles helps render a clearer idea of the emotional ties attached to each song, some higher pitched, some pitch shifted, others stripped down and near cracking. One of the more notable instances of interesting vocal choices is in a song confronting the issues of age and future choices called “Thousand Year Old Child.” What many would consider shoegaze instrumentation is accompanied by slightly higher pitched upbeat vocal style.

Crawling Up The Stairs takes a number of liberties in its 12-track list in both vocal styling as well as instrumentation; it is not always clear where the guitar begins or ends or begins to shift into the powerful fuzzy goodness of “Never Alone." The wild fuzzed out climax of Crawling Up The Stairs comes in the middle of the album on “Shadows and Lies.” The intro to the song contains only lone vocals and an unidentifiable background sample, then slowly adding guitar and drums, and finally followed by an engulfing wall of sound from the guitar. The ease of the loudest part of the album's seamless transition intoo the next soft foggy track, “I Come From Nowhere,” is puzzlingly impressive.

Each of the hypnotically calming tracks on Pure X’s Crawling Up The Stairs contain their own enchanting sounds that come together and create a seamless relaxing audible experience. They have not strayed far from their last album “Pleasure” but instead have grown their sound as exhibited in their single “Things in my Head.” The range of vocal styles presented in songs like “Thousand Year Old Child” help to render a clearer understanding of some of the more abstracted ideas presented in the lyrics. Crawling Up The Stairs has certainly set Pure X apart and given a much clearer picture of the unique road they are headed down.

Track List:
1. Crawling Up The Stairs
2. Someone Else
3. Written In The Slime
4. I Fear What I Feel
5. Things In My Head
6. Shadows And Lies
7. I Come From Nowhere
8. Never Alone
9. How Did You Find Me
10. Thousand Year Old Child
11. Rain At Dawn
12. All Of The Future (All Of The Past)

Pure X: Crawling Up The Stairs
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

66 / 100
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