Review: Puressence – Don’t Forget To Remember

Despite their unexpected popularity in Greece, Puressence have been the perennial underdogs of the Manchester scene. It’s a real puzzle considering the obvious anthemic quality to their songs. It has been five years since the last Puressence album, 2002’s ‘Planet Helpless’, which was easily the most commercial record they produced but even then everywhere outside of Greece seemed unimpressed. After being told to sound more like Savage Garden, Puressence and label Island inevitably went their separate ways. Lesser bands would probably have given up but the group (save original guitarist Neil McDonald) have soldiered on and put out album number four on the small label Reaction Records.

Puressence Album Cover

Generally ‘Don’t Forget To Remember’ is a case of recapturing old glories. The fact that it was recorded at Revolution Studios is not a clue to a new direction, it concentrates simply on what the group have always been good at. The title track is typical and the obvious choice for this year’s potential anthem. It uses all of Puressence’s chief weapons: James Mudriczki’s Northern choirboy vocals and the loud, epic widescreen production. ‘Don’t Know Any Better’ and ‘Brainwaves’, both mid-paced numbers, are lifted by more melancholic warbling from Mudriczki, the melodies for ‘Bitter Pill’ ring out from speaker to speaker whilst later songs ‘Palisades’ and ‘Burns Inside’ are loud, crunching and triumphant. It seems unlikely now that Puressence will achieve the success they so deserved but – to those in the know – this is a dignified return.

Web Sites:
Official Puressence Site
Puressence MySpace
Townsend Records Link

Further Listening:
Geneva, The Open

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