Combining stuttering rhythms, stunning melodies, and gauzy atmospheres with dreamy feminine vocals, Purity Ring are a modernization of Cocteau Twins or Stereolab. A punchy bolt of energy, which swings in time and again, gives them a feel of a juiced-up School Of Seven Bells.
The album opener "Crawlersout" works in a slippery haze. Things take a turns for the dramatic with the cinematic orchestral "Cartographist".
The band are near fearless when it comes to delving into other genres. On "Grouploves" for instance, they seamlessly incorporate a slow hip hop jam into their music. An increase in the tempo takes "Belispeak" dangerously close to danceability. "Amenamy" marries two contrary elements, a grinding beat and a twinkle, to surprisingly effective ends.
Pop sensibility is not thrown out the window. Tiny blips and plinks with slicing loops make "Obedear" a hypnotic pop hit.
The arrangements create an almost mystical aura around the songs. It's the lyrics, sometimes gruesome, that hold the true darkness.
Fans who have given up hope and are sick of being teased by My Bloody Valentine should feel somewhat sated by Shrines. It's no Loveless, but nothing really is.
Best tracks: "Obedear", "Crawlersout"
Track listing for Shrines: