Published: January, 2008, West Coast Performer Magazine

The Purrs "The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together"
Recorded and produced by The Purrs at Power Flower
Mixed by Nick Holman at Electrokitty Studio
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI

By Michael Fortes

If there’s one thing that ‘90s Britpop taught us, it’s that sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll not only sound great together, they never go out of style. And though The Purrs are actually from Seattle, they have absorbed the sounds and the vibes of their musical compadres across the pond. Double-tracked vocals and reverbed guitars are the order of the day on The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together, with the band occasionally jamming out on a groove like a more disciplined, song-oriented cousin of Brian Jonestown Massacre.

There’s a very, very dark thread woven throughout the album. It gets no darker than the opening line of “You Don’t Look So Good” as vocalist Jima bluntly observes, “nothing kills a buzz like a botched suicide.” “Disconnected” also lives up to its title, again with the blunt opening approach: “I know you’re suffering / I don’t really give a damn,” and the druggy band-aid confession: “I had a handful of pills so I took them all.” The old alcoholic stand-by comes into play as well in “Rainbow Afternoon” as a depressed narrator sits in a bar and thinks, “maybe I’d rather just lay down and die.”

Sex and love are also covered, cynically so in “Yes I Do,” where a damned if you do, damned if you don’t philosophy supersedes all thought: “If you try too hard to love her / She will leave you / If you act like you don’t want her / She’ll believe you.”

“She’s Got Chemicals” is ultimately the best entry here. With its classic use of drugs as a metaphor for love (“I can’t resist the buzz she gives ... Those chemicals are right here in my mind”), the song whose lyrics gave the album its title provides the most positive and heartwarming emotions. What’s more, its melodic refrain makes it the catchiest, most radio-friendly tune of the bunch.

The Purrs "The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together" album cover

front parlour logo