Pure X is the last band, has always been the last band. Not that there won’t be future acts, more that Pure X understands that all this pageantry, this civilization is wrapping up. It burned hot and bright like thermite used to bust a safe open, but now is the age of radiating waves, each one buckles the foundation more than the last.
It would be understandable to express such forbidden fatalism in a brittle, harsh nihilism, the stark echo of a stone rattling down an endless well. But on this album, their fourth and first in six years, there is a pre-dawn kindness. It may be funereal, but it is a Viking pyre ablaze in the middle of a river, one of those moments when the water seems to pause and reflect the clouds blooming like smoke from an invisible glass pipe.
Recorded live in the bucolic Texas Hill Country, this is their clearest, most focused work. The rhythm section is locked in–a night train through the desert. There is more singing, the weary wisdom of the lyrics ringing like Tibetan bowls. In 38 minutes, Pure X weave a culmination, all the delays and distortion, the grinding mortar of touring, the low-tide pulling them out from a cult band, to a legacy band, it’s here, understood and forgiven.
This album is a guide, it will comfort you through this long bruised twilight. It’s time to leave the fantasy, to play the game.