On the 30th of April the fast rising band Purson will release their debut album, The Circle and the Blue Door, via Metal Blade and Rise Above records. Purson formed when Singer Rosie Cunningham grew disillusioned with previous band, the short lived Ipso Facto, and met Ed Turner who worked at Toe-Rag recording studios. Although the relationship was relatively brief it proved to be the genesis of something special – Purson. Comparisons to 60s and 70s rock bands such as Cream, Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane are inevitable; as Purson play a retro brand of psychedelic folk and groove based rock. Likewise comparing them with label mates such as Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Ghost and perhaps even Firebird will give a good idea of what Purson are all about. The nearest approximation to Purson would be the amazing band Jex Thoth as both play kaleidoscopic 70s inspired, doom tinged rock with strong voiced female singers and have a keen ear for melody.
The Circle and the Blue Door was produced by Cunningham herself who admits that it was hard work undertaking those extra duties in addition to singing and co-writing the album. It’s a decision that most definitely paid off though as The Circle and the Blue Door sounds brilliant. It’s incredibly well balanced and, in a wonderful juxtaposition, both warm in tone whilst also letting the eerie tinge of the music shine though.
It’s very hard to pick standout songs as the whole album never really falters throughout its fifty minute run time. The Track Spiderwood Farm serves as a good representation for the album. A spiralling, hazey intro is smashed into by a huge doom metal guitar riff, that wouldn’t sound out of place on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, before ramping up the psychedelia factor with a mellotron solo and a intense bad trip freak-out of guitar and drum noise to bring the track to a close, it’s fantastic! Elsewhere The Tempest and the Tide is a more laidback affair with a picked guitar melody and Cunningham’s throaty yet lush vocals overlaid on top of a swirling, ethereal sheet of somniferous sound. It’s an alluring yet esoteric track which shows the band have more than one string to their bow. Bring the album to a close is the track Tragic catastrophe; a Bowie-esque account of Cunningham’s youth, of feeling incongruous with her circumstances and dreaming of becoming a rock star.
The Circle and the Blue Door is an engaging listen from start to finish, and with the band being championed by the likes of Pitchfork.com and having undertaken tours of Europe and the U.S recently it will hopefully be heard by a wide an audience as possible. Debut albums aren’t supposed to sound as accomplished as this are they? A well deserved 8.7/10.