5X5 @ SXSW 2009: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

At last year’s South By Southwest, we decided to ask every band we ran into a series of five hard-hitting questions we called 5X5@SXSW. It worked so well, we decided to do it again this year (also, thinking up new ideas is hard).

Playing along with us today are indie-pop shoegazers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who think they’re in the running for the coveted “Most Shows at SXSW” title — they’re playing a tidy 13 — luckily they’ll have large crowds in attendance at each performance cheering them on since their self-titled debut record has already turned them into critical darlings.

Check out the Pains tackling 5X5 after the jump.

The quartet never had big aspirations when they initially formed in New York City; instead just aiming to have some fun and give homage to acts they loved growing up like Sonic Youth and Nirvana. The sound they craft doesn’t sound like either legendary band but instead follow the traditional shoegaze path in the vein of My Bloody Valentine (nerd note: they fit nicely into the world of older Slumberland bands – a label that recently has become active again – signing bands like Pains, Crystal Stilts and Cause Co-Motion).

Pains surround their sweeping melodies with waves of distortion and reverb with twin vocal lines from Peggy and Kip swirling around each other backed by a pounding set of drums clearing the way through the mix – it’s the perfect soundtrack for a hot and sunny day down in Austin and the packed crowds in attendance seemed to appreciate every minute of the quartets exuberant set.

So without further adieu – check out our 5X5 with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart:


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MTV News will be all over the South by Southwest festival this week, with blogs, articles and video on all the gigs, the artists and the scene!