REVIEW: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Queens Social Club, Sheffield

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IT’S commonly criticised when a band wear their influences on their sleeves – and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s music is indebted to others more than most.

The New York group are steeped in the shoegazing sounds of My Bloody Valentine and countless twee indie acts from the 80s.

Their first, self-titled album received favourable reviews in 2009, but this year’s follow up has seen the hype recede in some quarters, with former cheerleaders the NME giving it just three out of ten.

The band seem right at home in the venue’s kitsch surroundings, even if they do look the least likely individuals to be present at a working men’s club – floppy fringes and skinny jeans very much the order of the day.

Belong, the new LP’s title track, shows off the band’s fresh, slightly tougher sound, while recent single Heart In Your Heartbreak breezes along with gleaming synths.

There’s also a fair selection of the older material too, with the audience eagerly lapping up early track Young Adult Friction.

The lyrics do border on the laugh-out-loud occasionally, and singer Kip Berman could stop hiding behind his childlike vocals at times, but this seems churlish.

Instead of knocking them, maybe we should relax a little and take their music for what it is – perfectly acceptable pop.