"Everybody's got a band that they're in the closet about," says the Purrs frontman Jima. "I have a huge love of the band Suede."
While Suede can get a bum rap, it's impossible to deny their influence on '90s Britpop. Sidestepping Manchester's shoegazing and dance-pop scenes for the dark sexual glam of Bowie and the Smiths, Suede brought the three-minute single back to the UK. They also influenced a string of stateside bands, including Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, all of whom factor into the Purrs' sound.
Formed after answering a classified ad in this very publication, the Purrs have gigged endlessly about town since 2000, self-released two EPs and, in July of this year, put out their first full-length, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of.
A true long player, Dreams clocks in at just over an hour. Though recorded in Jima's home studio, the album is a grand affair with enough echo to sound like it was recorded during sound check at a concert hall. Vocally, Jima evokes the straining emotional agony of Richard Ashcroft and the band mostly follows suit, styling themselves around the swirly pop vein of the Verve. "Loose Talk" is a Stones-y stomp, as is "Much Too Much," with its Gimme Shelter-esque riffs and guitarists Jason Milne and Jason Buchanan are steeped in jangly psychedelia. Together, their interstellar noodling also veers off into Echo & the Bunnymen territory, and the final seven-minute instrumental track ("Seattle Dept. of Fuck You") is a guitar epic that sends listeners into a "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" space trip. Ultimately, this mix of Britpop, psych- and space-rock places the band neatly within the crop of UK-leaning young Northwest acts like Zero Points, the Village Green, and Derby.
Thanks also to bolstering from KEXP, numerous heads have started turning the Purrs' way. Just the other day, Jima shipped a copy of their disc to a fan in Germany. Not bad for a band that's rarely strayed from the Puget Sound area. "That's all KEXP," Jima admits. "I think single-handedly KEXP pushed it and that helped a lot."