The Purrs

The Purrs

 Seattle, Washington, USA
BandRockPop

The Purrs are a Seattle based psychedelic indie rock band that blends the best of the Dandy Warhols, The Verve and The Church. "A phenomenally inspired blend of styles, beautifully smudging together seemingly disparate genres to create a hybrid sound that has to be heard to be believed." ~allmusic

Band Press

THE PURRS CD REVIEW (SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE) – SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE

The Purrs
(Sarathan) It's surprising that the Purrs are not a Seattle brand name. A band since 2000, with scads of shows played all over town, the Purrs here offer a new release that could blow their obscurity for good. Fronted by Jim Antonio, the four-piece ensemble interstices guitars, drums, and bass to authentic psych-pop effect reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust or the Velvet Underground. Taking this album for a spin is like cruising in a vintage convertible under an expansive Midwestern sky. Shimmering guitar tracks pass languidly overhead, and the Verve's Richard Ashcroft's voice melts from the radio. This latest effort showcases old material from a previous EP a LP, yielding an ersatz "greatest hits" album re-mastered to a lush, 50-minute patina. Despite positive press and KEXP rotation, some indict the Purrs for being too derivative. Admittedly, certain songs could be mistaken for the Breakfast Club soundtrack, but why knock the post-shoegazer precision?
ANGELA ARGENTATI

THE PURRS CD REVIEW (SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE) – SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE

The Purrs
(Sarathan) It's surprising that the Purrs are not a Seattle brand name. A band since 2000, with scads of shows played all over town, the Purrs here offer a new release that could blow their obscurity for good. Fronted by Jim Antonio, the four-piece ensemble interstices guitars, drums, and bass to authentic psych-pop effect reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust or the Velvet Underground. Taking this album for a spin is like cruising in a vintage convertible under an expansive Midwestern sky. Shimmering guitar tracks pass languidly overhead, and the Verve's Richard Ashcroft's voice melts from the radio. This latest effort showcases old material from a previous EP a LP, yielding an ersatz "greatest hits" album re-mastered to a lush, 50-minute patina. Despite positive press and KEXP rotation, some indict the Purrs for being too derivative. Admittedly, certain songs could be mistaken for the Breakfast Club soundtrack, but why knock the post-shoegazer precision?
ANGELA ARGENTATI

The Purrs: The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of (KEXP) – KEXP

KEXP - Seattle, WA

June 28, 2005

The Purrs - The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of (self-released) This Seattle band follows up their two earlier EPs with a promising debut full-length of hazy psych-pop, combining languid tempos with blissed-out guitar lines for a dreamy, slow-burning sound reminiscent of Galaxie 500. -DON YATES

The Purrs (The Stranger) – The Stranger - Seattle

"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."

Be Here Meow (City Beat - Cincinnati) – City Beat - Cincinnati

Chances are, if you went out to see live original music in Cincinnati in the late ’80s/early ’90s, you’ve likely seen Jim Antonio on stage. Antonio was one of the best frontmen in town when he led Lizard 99, an Art Punk band in the vein of early Jane’s Addiction. He also performed in the duo Oyster and as bassist for local faves, Roundhead.

In 2000, Antonio and his wife, cellist Barb Hunter (another onetime Roundhead member who has recorded with The Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers and Pigface), relocated to Seattle. Having amassed a nice collection of demos (and having been in a band since his early teens), Antonio started cruising the want ads in Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger, hoping to get a new musical project going.

Responding to the ads from musicians with shared Psych Pop/Rock influences (Luna, Brian Jonestown Massacre, etc.), Antonio formed The Purrs not long after arriving in the Pacific Northwest.

I end up tracking down Antonio (who uses the stage name JimA in The Purrs), not in Seattle but in Paris, where he is on vacation, celebrating his wedding anniversary.

“You know when someone in the U.S. says that the French are rude and smell bad?” Antonio says, when asked if he was getting the evil eye for being a “stupid American,” “well, that is all BS perpetrated by ethnocentric losers who prefer to live in ignorance. Paris is a big city and consequently smells like one. Parisians are no more polite or rude than any other city.” Once The Purrs had formed, they went the D.I.Y. route, releasing their own CDs and playing around Seattle and Portland. The band hit a turning point when popular Seattle-based online radio station KEXP began spinning songs from their first two releases. Antonio says the heavy airplay from the station (as well as eventual play on Cincinnati-based online station, 97X/WOXY) immediately boosted their profile and CD sales.

“We started selling pretty well for an unsigned indie band with no support to speak of,” he says. “I directly attribute that to KEXP and WOXY. Sales started going up in local stores and online. I know because I mailed every CD out personally. I was raiding the office supply store for padded envelopes and the people at the post office knew me. We never made any money because we put it all right back into studio time and Connie, our Econoline van at the time.” The increased sales and airplay brought the band some attention from independent labels and the group eventually signed with the small Sarathan imprint, which had good national distribution. (On the decision to go with the label, Antonio says, “Their checks cleared.”) Sarathan released a self-titled fulllength, culled from tracks off of the band’s two self-releases. The deal enabled the band to tour the country and earned them wider recognition. But, ultimately, the band’s relationship with the label soured.


“I’m going to be diplomatic here and say that it wasn’t a good fit,” Antonio says. “It started to become apparent that they didn’t actually know what we were about. It was like they had never seen or heard us or something. I do like being independent, but there is a limit to what you can achieve without some sort of outside support. I guess I can live with that … but I’d rather not.” Out of necessity, the band released The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together on their own. The long-player — their finest and most cohesive effort yet — is a fantastic slice of dreamy Pop music, smeared in trippy atmospherics and buoyed by phenomenally memorable melodies. The album floats in the same hemisphere as artists like The Verve and Galaxie 500, with some vintage influences like the Velvet Underground and Television also evident.

Though the music has a psychedelic element, Antonio insists he’s no druggie. At least not while making music. “I can either get wasted or write music,” he says. “Fortunately there is time enough in my day for both. These days bourbon is my drug of choice. Do they even make acid anymore?” The band has endured several lineup changes since their start. Antonio insists he’s not an ogre to work with, putting the lineup changes down to the personal lifestyle decisions of the departing members.

“I wish I could say I am difficult to work with because that would sound cool, like I am some sort of an artist or something,” Antonio jokes. “I am pretty sure that isn’t the case. The reasons a person might join a band are varied and over time, those reasons may not remain relevant. Playing in a band that plays out as much as we do and works as hard as we do is a lifestyle choice.

Lifestyles change over time. People have kids or decide they want to move to the mountains and become a lumberjack or whatever.”

THE PURRS (myspace.com/thepurrs) play the MidPoint Music Festival Friday at the Aronoff’s Fifth Third Bank Theater at 9 p.m.

The Purrs CD Review (All Music Guide) – All Music Guide

The Purrs bundles up seven tracks off that latter set, and two numbers -- "Ebb & Flow" and "Because I Want To" from No Particular Bar, No Particular Town, the band's second EP. As frontman Jima quips, "Think of this as our Greatest Hits, if we had a hit." Better really to think of it as a much welcomed introduction to a rising star, and something to plug during a national tour. Like any self-respecting cat, this band is defiantly unique, which hasn't stopped the group from being compared with the likes of the Verve and Galaxie 500, while Jima himself has been dubbed "the second coming of Richard Ashcroft." All of which rather neglects the band's obvious rockabilly roots, which underpin every single one of the songs here, even "Loose Talk," which sounds like the sonic love child of the Byrds and the Flamin' Groovies. "The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of," in contrast, has all the majesty of "Free Bird"; "Connect the Dots" has all the whomp of down and dirty blues; "Ebb & Flow" washes up in a Louisiana Delta; "Get on with Your Life" brings a touch of Spain to the blues; and "Because I Want To" is a staunch reminder of how even bands like the Velvet Underground were beholden to the riffs of R&B and the blues. The guitar work is phenomenal throughout, the rhythm section tight, and Jima's vocals sound roughened by too much whiskeys and Marlboros, his delivery jaundiced by it all. Which brings us to the production and the Purrs' superb use of organs, equally responsible for those Verve and Galaxy references. Because over the bluesy, R&B, and rockabilly cores, the group lather their songs in a density of sound and swirling atmospheres that pull them towards shoegazer territory. Take that away, and critics would be exclaiming that Big Star had risen again. It's a phenomenally inspired blend of styles, beautifully smudging together seemingly disparate genres to create a hybrid sound that has to be heard to be believed. Add in the band's incredibly strong melodies, fabulous musicianship, and their myriad textures and moods, and maybe Jima is right, this really is their Greatest Hits set.
~Jo-Ann Greene

Guitars and attitude from Seattle (Americana UK) – Americana UK

Guitars and attitude from Seattle

The 4th album from The Purrs finds them maintaining the purple streak that started with 2007s ‘The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together’ (also reviewed on this site), that is to say a sonic adventure into new wave Brit-pop filtered through a West Coast lens. Interesting codas and familiar refrains along with the spiky guitar of The Verve and the brash chutzpah of early Cracker.

‘Sister’ sets the template with its long guitar wig out intro before singer Jima does his best Richard Ashcroft (which is far better to these ears than the original). ‘Stay Here With Me ‘ has a chorus to die for that will have you racking your brains for the source material but it doesn’t matter – this is Supergrass Seattle style. ‘Baby I Want You Back’ a pleasant almost Rain Parade sparkle that boasts a coda that seems to conjure The Small Faces. ‘Century of Rain’ is a slow waltz with a drawled vocal that drags the band kicking and screaming into Cracker territory.

‘The Outpost’ a multivocaled Velvets strum with menacing lead lines that build the drone to a dark chorus which ticks all the appropriate shoegazing boxes.
And so it goes. This band should be bigger, they are certainly better at what they do than several far bigger bands but they do lack a killer tune – maybe just one will do for them . ‘Stay Here With Me ‘ is pretty damn close.

Guitars and attitude from Seattle (Americana UK) – Americana UK

Guitars and attitude from Seattle

The 4th album from The Purrs finds them maintaining the purple streak that started with 2007s ‘The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together’ (also reviewed on this site), that is to say a sonic adventure into new wave Brit-pop filtered through a West Coast lens. Interesting codas and familiar refrains along with the spiky guitar of The Verve and the brash chutzpah of early Cracker.

‘Sister’ sets the template with its long guitar wig out intro before singer Jima does his best Richard Ashcroft (which is far better to these ears than the original). ‘Stay Here With Me ‘ has a chorus to die for that will have you racking your brains for the source material but it doesn’t matter – this is Supergrass Seattle style. ‘Baby I Want You Back’ a pleasant almost Rain Parade sparkle that boasts a coda that seems to conjure The Small Faces. ‘Century of Rain’ is a slow waltz with a drawled vocal that drags the band kicking and screaming into Cracker territory.

‘The Outpost’ a multivocaled Velvets strum with menacing lead lines that build the drone to a dark chorus which ticks all the appropriate shoegazing boxes.
And so it goes. This band should be bigger, they are certainly better at what they do than several far bigger bands but they do lack a killer tune – maybe just one will do for them . ‘Stay Here With Me ‘ is pretty damn close.

The Purrs Coming To A Bar Near You (Jive Magazine) – Jive Magazine

In the world of music, there are cover bands, bar bands, arena bands, etc., myriad titles that, while pertaining to a particular performance venue, also serve to describe the kind of music, and prowess, one can expect from the band in question. Jima, bassist and lead singer of native-Seattle band The Purrs, recently named one of Filter’s “Artists to Watch,” has often described his band as a bar band who want their audiences to drink, have fun and generally have a good time, something that is made abundantly clear through the songs on their latest self-titled CD, which will be released on local indie label Sarathan Records on September 12th.

Although they have two previous albums to their credit, the EP No Particular Bar, No Particular Town (2004) and the LP The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of (2005), the latter which makes up the majority of the songs included on their new record, their latest release marks their record-label debut, an achievement that Jima credits largely to the constant support received from his local radio station, KEXP.

“Place the blame/credit on KEXP,” says Jima, regarding their Sarathan debut. “Every time we put out a CD they would play like one track, and they played the hell out of the thing. I’d wake up in the morning and have the alarm clock tuned to KEXP and they’d be playing one of my songs.” The Purrs will be going on tour this October to promote their album and most recently played at Seattle's Bumbershoot, one of the country’s top urban arts festivals, alongside well-known acts such as Kanye West, Tribe Called Quest, AFI, Feist and Badly Drawn Boy.

JIVE MAGAZINE (JM): The first thing that I have to ask about is your name—Jima. How exactly do you pronounce it?

Jima (JA): Jim-A. It’s the first initial of my last name. I just felt like putting it in there cause I thought “Jim” was boring and it sort of stuck. I remember in grade school that there were like ten Jim’s in our class and that we were called by our last initial so…

JM: I thought it was pronounced Jima (Jee-ma) and that you were Japanese…

JA: No, I can’t be blessed with anything that cool.

JM: So instead you’re just Jim-a.

JA: Yeah, I’m just a white guy.

JM: Where does your band name come from?

JA: You know, I have no idea. If you’ve been in a band you know that one of the most traumatic experiences is the trial of naming your band…you go through these horrible names, right? And then comes the part where everybody makes a list, in band practice…

One day our drummer just came up with The Purrs and I immediately liked it because it was short. My concept has always been that if the band name is short, and you put it on a flyer, and you put it in a bigger font, you can always see it—you can read it from farther away. There’s a sh*tload of bands out there right now with names like, “I see you and I’m going over here…” really long surnames…if you put that on a flyer you’d need like a microscope to read it.

JM: Never thought of it that way but it makes complete sense. When was the band first formed?

JA: It’s been named The Purrs since the year 2000. We got together then and started playing in a certain form...3/4th of which still exists today. We’ve been playing a lot of shows locally.

JM: Which brings me to my next question: Through the years, so many bands have come out of Seattle, out of the local scene. What is the music community there like?

JA: I don’t know…I’m assuming it’s like any other band scene. I’ve lived in a couple of towns, and I’ve been in the band scene in all of those towns, and everyone always says that the band scene sucks or that it seems really clique—everyone always dishes on their band scene. But a lot of that, I think, is like pissing in your own living room…[But as far as Seattle is concerned], I don’t think it’s that different from any other band scene.

There may be people who you will find to be sort of clique, but if I was an architect, and I hung out with a bunch of architects, I might think that the architecture scene was kind of clique too. I think the band scene here is cool—there are good bands, there are bad bands, you know?

JM: A lot of people assume that Seattle has this amazing music scene or community simply because of all of the bands that have come out of there.

JA: Oh, I see what you’re saying. I came from Ohio, Cincinnati, and that is another scene where people would always complain, “Oh man, it’s really clique, blah blah blah…” but the fact is that I’ve been able to get shows where I want them, when I want them, with good bands. But there are good bands here—I think that’s another thing that’s probably common in decent sized towns, is that there are a lot of good bands. Rock n’ roll isn’t exactly rocket science, you know? (laughs) It isn’t exactly hard to be good. You just put some songs together, play them mildly competently, and you’re already 50 percent better than everyone else.

JM: The new album is a compilation of your prev

The Purrs Coming To A Bar Near You (Jive Magazine) – Jive Magazine

In the world of music, there are cover bands, bar bands, arena bands, etc., myriad titles that, while pertaining to a particular performance venue, also serve to describe the kind of music, and prowess, one can expect from the band in question. Jima, bassist and lead singer of native-Seattle band The Purrs, recently named one of Filter’s “Artists to Watch,” has often described his band as a bar band who want their audiences to drink, have fun and generally have a good time, something that is made abundantly clear through the songs on their latest self-titled CD, which will be released on local indie label Sarathan Records on September 12th.

Although they have two previous albums to their credit, the EP No Particular Bar, No Particular Town (2004) and the LP The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of (2005), the latter which makes up the majority of the songs included on their new record, their latest release marks their record-label debut, an achievement that Jima credits largely to the constant support received from his local radio station, KEXP.

“Place the blame/credit on KEXP,” says Jima, regarding their Sarathan debut. “Every time we put out a CD they would play like one track, and they played the hell out of the thing. I’d wake up in the morning and have the alarm clock tuned to KEXP and they’d be playing one of my songs.” The Purrs will be going on tour this October to promote their album and most recently played at Seattle's Bumbershoot, one of the country’s top urban arts festivals, alongside well-known acts such as Kanye West, Tribe Called Quest, AFI, Feist and Badly Drawn Boy.

JIVE MAGAZINE (JM): The first thing that I have to ask about is your name—Jima. How exactly do you pronounce it?

Jima (JA): Jim-A. It’s the first initial of my last name. I just felt like putting it in there cause I thought “Jim” was boring and it sort of stuck. I remember in grade school that there were like ten Jim’s in our class and that we were called by our last initial so…

JM: I thought it was pronounced Jima (Jee-ma) and that you were Japanese…

JA: No, I can’t be blessed with anything that cool.

JM: So instead you’re just Jim-a.

JA: Yeah, I’m just a white guy.

JM: Where does your band name come from?

JA: You know, I have no idea. If you’ve been in a band you know that one of the most traumatic experiences is the trial of naming your band…you go through these horrible names, right? And then comes the part where everybody makes a list, in band practice…

One day our drummer just came up with The Purrs and I immediately liked it because it was short. My concept has always been that if the band name is short, and you put it on a flyer, and you put it in a bigger font, you can always see it—you can read it from farther away. There’s a sh*tload of bands out there right now with names like, “I see you and I’m going over here…” really long surnames…if you put that on a flyer you’d need like a microscope to read it.

JM: Never thought of it that way but it makes complete sense. When was the band first formed?

JA: It’s been named The Purrs since the year 2000. We got together then and started playing in a certain form...3/4th of which still exists today. We’ve been playing a lot of shows locally.

JM: Which brings me to my next question: Through the years, so many bands have come out of Seattle, out of the local scene. What is the music community there like?

JA: I don’t know…I’m assuming it’s like any other band scene. I’ve lived in a couple of towns, and I’ve been in the band scene in all of those towns, and everyone always says that the band scene sucks or that it seems really clique—everyone always dishes on their band scene. But a lot of that, I think, is like pissing in your own living room…[But as far as Seattle is concerned], I don’t think it’s that different from any other band scene.

There may be people who you will find to be sort of clique, but if I was an architect, and I hung out with a bunch of architects, I might think that the architecture scene was kind of clique too. I think the band scene here is cool—there are good bands, there are bad bands, you know?

JM: A lot of people assume that Seattle has this amazing music scene or community simply because of all of the bands that have come out of there.

JA: Oh, I see what you’re saying. I came from Ohio, Cincinnati, and that is another scene where people would always complain, “Oh man, it’s really clique, blah blah blah…” but the fact is that I’ve been able to get shows where I want them, when I want them, with good bands. But there are good bands here—I think that’s another thing that’s probably common in decent sized towns, is that there are a lot of good bands. Rock n’ roll isn’t exactly rocket science, you know? (laughs) It isn’t exactly hard to be good. You just put some songs together, play them mildly competently, and you’re already 50 percent better than everyone else.

JM: The new album is a compilation of your prev

Music Review (POP Matters) – POP Matters

Oh, right. Now I remember why I get excited to try out new music. Its’ because, sometimes, that CD I took a chance on will turn out to be a great debut album from an obscure (thus far) indie band. Such is the case with the premier, self-titled full-length from Seattle’s the Purrs. From the city of grunge, which put an end to the jangly Americana pop underground of the late 1980s, comes this quartet who owe a great debt to the college rock template created by bands like Dream Syndicate, the Church, and Galaxie 500. Two guitars, bass, drums, and the highly expressive vocals of Jima are the stuff the Purrs are made of (to paraphrase one of their song titles). The band’s big hook is their lead singer, although he’s bound to drive some listeners out of the room with his elastic vocals. Jima reminds me, all at once, of Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil), Tim Booth (James), and Ken Foreman (the underappreciated Thrashing Doves). Like all of his forefathers, Jima sings in a snarling whine with the occasional hiccup… and it sounds great!

The Purrs also have nine catchy, solidly well-written, and surprisingly mature songs that will quickly lure you in. From the jerky rhythms of the poppy opener “She’s Gone” to the aptly named “Ebb & Flow”, with its codeine sway, these guys infuse each track with melodies that are subtle yet instantly enthralling. “Loose Talk” is a major highlight, with an insistent chorus, some nice “sha-la-la"s, and a thick delay on the guitar reminiscent of Marty Wilson-Piper. And there’s not a clunker to be found on The Purrs. Thanks to their fans at Seattle’s super-cool radio station, KEXP, this very promising band is deservedly on the verge of launching out of the small-time. Matador, Merge, Yep Roc? I hope the A&R folks at the cool, bigger-time indie labels are paying attention. And I hope you are, as well. You might not have heard of the Purrs before today, but, if there’s any justice in this world, you’ll soon be able to brag to your friends about how you got in on the ground floor. -- Michael Keefe

The Purrs: The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together (KEXP) – KEXP

This Seattle band opts for a cleaner, slightly punchier sound on their 2nd album, bringing their trippy psych-pop jangle more sharply into focus. -Don Yates

The Purrs: The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together (KEXP) – KEXP

This Seattle band opts for a cleaner, slightly punchier sound on their 2nd album, bringing their trippy psych-pop jangle more sharply into focus. -Don Yates

CD REVIEW (The Big Takeover) – The Big Takeover

This CD opens with a nice fuzz-pop Luna meets Lou Reed groove, walking around in some Britpop parking lot. This is sweet, up-tempo, drifting shoegaze, Northwest style. It has a very nice lo-fi touch, so while there's that U.K. swerve in the mood, it's still carrying a raw edge that helps it stand out from other similar style players. Sometimes it's a little Built to Spill meets the Verve, and that Dean Wareham comparison flows through many songs, stretching back to his Galaxie 500 days, but with a New York street attitude. These are well-written songs that take a fresh swing at a familiar sound.

CD Reviews (Under The Radar) – Under The Radar

A quintessentially British band that happens to from Seattle, The Purrs trade in a series of references stretching from the burned-out version of The Rolling Stones the guitar pop of he Verve and Blur. Take loads of reverb-drenched guitar, howling feedback, and the sneering vocals of bassist Jima, and you end up at the point where woozy dream pop and Brit-rock meet.

Backwoods (Devil In The Woods) – Devil In The Woods

An Anglo-fied act trapped in the Pacific Northwest, the Purrs are possible the greatest Brit-pop band to ever come out of Seattle. Bassist/vocalist Jima has obviously done his homework, nailing nearly every vocal tick and preening nuance of Richard Ashcroft, while his bandmates have no trouble nailing jangly guitars and reverb-soaked atmospherics. That said, more than a few tracks trace their roots to an earlier vintage. With snapping guitar chords, lushly malted harmonies and smoothly looping choruses, opener “She’s Gone” pulls no punches in it’s Zobies-circa-’68 flourishes. More subtle are the bands country music and dream pop influences, turning the in the fiddle lines of “The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of” and the burned-out Galaxie 500 drones o “Don’t Stop Kicking Me Down.” Despite a handful of undeniably good hooks however, the band is really little more than a bundle of patchy influences. – Matt Fink.

CD Review (Amplifier Magazine) – Amplifier Magazine

Velvet Underground and Jesus and Mary Chain style noise-rock jangle is a style of music that will never grow old or tiresome. It's simple, it rocks, and while it may offer little in the way of surprises, it's bound to provide maximum levels of enjoyment, even if the senses are not caught off guard. The Purrs understand this, and make something quite magnificent out of this approach. Yet the variations within that psychedelic three-chord approach are what makes this album a winning one. Opener "She's Gone" contains just the right amount of trippy rock momentum, while "Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of", more than just a clever name, descends into gorgeous dreamy territory, and "Connect the Dots" adds a little bit of raw, garage rock to nice effect. The Purrs' self-titled album not only lives up to the legacy of those weighty names dropped at the beginning of this review, but also carries it into the next generation, upholding rock 'n roll tradition, while leaving their own individualistic mark.
~ JEFF TERICH

CD REVIEW (HARP Magazine) – HARP Magazine

You can hear a welter of influences in the music of the Seattle-based Purrs—primarily a strong past-and-present British Invasion-style flavor (or perhaps that’s “flavour”) that runs throughout. You hear it in the jangly guitars and maracas in the opening track, “She’s Gone,” in the spacey cadences of “The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of” (also the title track of a previous album) that also drops in a violin line for good measure, you hear it in the sprawly-drawly vocals of bassist/lead singer Jima, who’s a little Mick Jagger, a little Richard Ashcroft, even a little bit solo-era Syd Barrett. Don’t think it’s derivative; the Purrs manage to jumble everything around enough so that it sounds fresh, and they clearly understand the value of a good hook; every song, even the more dreamy ones, has a decided catchiness. As a result, the music has the kind of familiarity that makes you feel you’ve heard the record before, even if it’s your first time around with the tunes.

Band Of The Day (SPIN.com) – SPIN.com

Who? Seattle band the Purrs came together in 2000 through a regular old classified ad. For the next five years, they gigged around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, toiling in relative obscurity, but a happy obscurity that allowed them to mellow and mature. The band have been through a few incarnations, but have always centered on lead singer, songwriter, and bassist Jima (pronounced "Jim-A"). Jima is joined in the band by lead guitarist/vocalist Jason Milne, guitarist/vocalist Jason Atkin, drummer Craig Keller, and keyboardist Dayna Loeffle, and the quintet's self-titled label debut has two songs from their 2004 EP, No Particular Bar, No Particular Town, and seven more from their self-produced and released album from last year, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of. Of course, all those tracks were remixed, re-mastered, spruced up, and trimmed to perfection.

What's the Deal? You know that song "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas? The title sounds like a real sunshiny kind of pop fluff song but then you listen to it and realize it's sad, dark, and utterly brilliant. That's what you get with the Purrs, who blend the bright fun of righteously sweet guitar hooks with woozy psych-rock and a serious devotion to melancholy moodiness. Getting liquored up, which Jima sings about frequently, probably has a bit to do with all that. Like fellow neo-classicists Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Purrs deal in subdued stompers and hazy rave-ups -- the kind of rock that convinces parents their kid is on goofballs.

Fun Fact: The Purrs are happy these days, with a consistent line-up and a big nationwide tour on the horizon. It wasn't always this way. The band's old guitarist was a woman with a knack for getting into fistfights wherever the band would roam. It's the difference between "let's hit the road" and "dear God run for your life!" J. GABRIEL BOYLAN

The Purrs: Amused, Confused & More Bad News (KEXP) – KEXP

This Seattle band follows up their two previous excellent albums with another first-rate set of jangly psych-pop that also brings some additional rock ‘n’ roll heat to their sound, thanks to more muscular, energetic rhythms and some fiery guitar leads from Jason Milne. -Don Yates

The Purrs: Amused, Confused & More Bad News (KEXP) – KEXP

This Seattle band follows up their two previous excellent albums with another first-rate set of jangly psych-pop that also brings some additional rock ‘n’ roll heat to their sound, thanks to more muscular, energetic rhythms and some fiery guitar leads from Jason Milne. -Don Yates

The Purrs' CD Release Party Sat. at the Sunset (The SeattleST) – The SeattleST

Amused, Confused, & More Bad News, the third (or fourth, depending on how you look at it) studio album from local post-psych outfit The Purrs, comes across as guardedly autobiographical. Amidst the jangly guitar rock and fuzzed-out riffs, you can read the album as a document of the band's struggles since their 2005 debut, The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of. With songs like "Loose Talk" and "Taste of Monday" garnering regular play on KEXP, the self-released album did about as well as they could have hoped for. They signed to a local label, and things were looking good. Then, well, not much happened, or at least not the way it was supposed to.

The label re-released earlier material, pared down to meet the tastes of an illusory pop audience. The band toured widely and garnered more attention, but it was almost three years before they brought new material to market, with the album (again self-released) The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together, in 2007.

So when lead singer and songwriter Jima croons on the new track "Feeling Fine" that "Life on the road is OK/if your brain's like a summer job, short-term only," you can feel the tension to the band's work: exhaustion bordering on burnout, while at the same time there's the compulsion to continue the relentless process of being a rock and roll band, despite the lack of future certainty.
But broad themes aside, the new disc shows the band continuing to evolve into a more assured outfit. The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of was almost baroque with its elaborate song intros and musical references, all of which have been getting pared down over the last few years as the band concentrates more on song-craft. The Chemistry... showed that the band was capable of anthemic rock with tunes like "Chemicals for Me" (which also saw its fair share of KEXP rotation), and the band has followed up with at least two scorchers on Amused...: "Sister," which features both a delicious wah-heavy riff as well as the judicious use of acoustic guitar for percussive effect, and the fan favorite "Fear of Flying."

But the standout track is undoubtedly "The Outpost," possibly the single best song the band has written. It's Ziggy Stardust meets Galaxie 500, a sci-fi epic of loneliness and anomie carried along by the surging guitars of Bob Silverstein and Jason Milne. The Purrs have always been phenomenal at creating delicately textured tone palettes with lush guitar effects, and there's no better example of that than "The Outpost."

Today, the band may not be looking at mainstream break-out success, but their years of relentless touring have won them a dedicated fanbase based on the strength of their live shows. And their music has been popping up in television soundtracks with greater frequency over the past few years, most recently in David Duchovny's sex-drenched Showtime series Californication, whose world-weary themes of sex and emptiness the band's music is perfectly matched for.

So it's not exactly bitterness that informs Jima's lyrics on the new album so much as a sort of grudging acceptance. Exasperation with the rock scene is matched with a more mature awareness that there are other forms of success. Three albums in, The Purrs are writing some of their best material, and at least in part that's due to the fact that at some point, they realized that if they kept going, it was going to have to be for themselves.

The Purrs Keep On Doin’ Their Twang (Seattle Subsonic) – Seattle Subsonic

The Purrs play the part of the persistent underdog well. The band is one that you've probably heard of. You've likely read a positive review about them in your favorite online music reading place (guilty). They're probably a band that you've inadvertently stumbled upon in some Ballard venue on some rainy weeknight. Yet they're likely not the first band that comes to mind when somebody posits the question, “What's your favorite guitar pop band in Seattle?” Well, the dudes aren't ready to give in; not to fickle audiences, not to unappreciative labels, and surely not to the undulating local music scene full of synths, glitches, beards and crossovers. As such, the band has given us Amused, Confused & More Bad News, its third full-length and arguably its most evolved and succinct output yet.

The quartet, for the most part, stays true to its atmospheric psych-pop maxims: vocalist/bassist Jima's lucid bellyaches about his heartbreaks and hangovers, eternally stuck in the doldrums, and Jason Milne's high-fret wandering manifestos. Like any good songwriter, Jima is adept at turning his written prose into singing poetry, often laced with cynicism and snark. The guy's probably had ten times as many breakups as you or I, yet he is nothing if not resolute, determined to shake off his funk, and preferably with a drink. There is a heaviness to this album that differs from their first two, as the band opts for less exploration and more immediacy in achieving their final compositions. The record's success ultimately hinges on Jima's ability to corral his emotions (and pitch) and Milne's proclivity for testing the heights of his spiraling, skygazing strings. The Purrs are not a duo however, and drummer Craig Kellen and new rhythm guitarist Bob Silverstein complement their mates capably. Kellen, in particular, is as solid as skin pounders come.

“Sister” is the leadoff track, and for good reason. Milne's Fender explodes into a beautiful, blistering wah-wah arpeggio that lasts a good 90 seconds (the rest of the band joins in, including a third guitar). It really lays into the listener and sets a towering tone while Jima and Silverstein conspire for their best harmonies of the record. You'd be hard-pressed not to conjure memories of your favorite Brit-pop band—from the Smiths to Oasis—while listening to the album's jangly, hook-heavy first half, with “Fear of Flying” and “Feeling Fine” as the poster songs. The second half of the record is where the Purrs slow it down and burn through some solemn psychedelia. “The Outpost” is possibly the best song they've penned (ok, maybe not better than “Taste of Monday”), a colossal and wide-eyed venture. Jima ponders the future of his relationship in the wake of the “gigantic machine” and has this gurgling noise (guitar pedal? organ?) that steps through each verse like a dejected creature plodding through the cosmos.

Not quite the final track, “Good Times Will Come” is the de facto closer of Amused. It's a broiling drifter of a song, aimlessly roaming a lost, sun-scorched highway. The Purrs are convinced better times are ahead, and if this record doesn't get ‘em there, well, who knows how they'll handle it.

Crushes: The Purrs album release (Three Imaginary Girls) – Three Imaginary Girls

Pent-up, viciously provoked, ready to shred psycho killer line-up this Thursday night at the Crocodile (June 24) as The Purrs give an official release for their delectable collection of new songs, rare tracks, and covers, Tearing Down Paisley Garden.

The CD has been available for a few weeks now, and has been gaining new fans who hadn't the chance to fall deeply in love with thoughtful, caustic, clever previous long-players Amused, Confused & More Bad News, The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together, and The Dreams Are Stuff Are Made Of. But this is the official kick off party to begin celebrating new Purrs material, a feisty band about to spring out of nowhere on tour and clobber the world before it can defend itself. Bad ass, but charming as hell. Eat this up, as a new full-length isn't till next spring.

That description could also easily be applied to Brent Amaker & the Rodeo, just signed to one of my very favorite labels Sparkle & Shine (who have also released must-own albums from The Tripwires and Curtains For You). BAR have deep black thoughts to match their villain-dark clothes, singing about love wounds and having to steal your girl and kick your ass while Bunny Monroe dances on stage like that hot mess lady in Blue Velvet on top of the Dennis Hopper (R.I.P.) joy ride. You can see this beyond-C&W/punk-spirit band playing in a house of hedonistic abuse out on the edge of town, where corruption is worn like a uniform and a end-of-night stomach pump is just another part of the holiday festivities. Please Stand By is their third release and debut for S&S, and I plan to pick up a copy of it the first day it's available, hopefully before their appearance at this year's Bumbershoot so I can drunkenly sing along to all the words of the new songs.

Opening band Battle Hymns are just as fun and intense as their musical brothers in the line-up, and I'm eager to hear their Hidden Reservations, which is about to explode on the world as well.

What a night!

10 Years of Purrfect Music with The Purrs (Seismic Sound) – Seismic Sound

Local band The Purrs, with their dark melodic sounds, edgy guitars, and groovy bass lines, have been a staple in Seattle's psychedelic pop scene for over the past 10 years. I decided to catch up with them to see how things are going 10 years in.

I arrived at Jason Milne's house just as the band finishes an intense practice session in the basement. Sweaty and exhausted, the band ascends into the living room, where, after the mood is set with psychedelic wall projections and scotch pours all around, I sit down with them to talk about the band's 10 year resilience, the kidnapping of Sunset Valley and Little Pieces front man, Herman Jolly, and “pie in the sky”.

You guys just celebrated your 10 year anniversary. When was the actual date … hasn't it passed?

Jason Miln (JM): I think it was in the later half of 2000 because the first half of 2000 we were kind of a different formation with a different person singing. I think we're close to that exact 10 year anniversary.

Jima (J): We just don't know where that specific day is.

Herman Jolly (HJ): If you cut them [in half] and count the rings…it's about 10.

(Laughter explodes)

10 years is a long time. What keeps you guys going strong when other bands have come and gone?

J: If you don't pursue the things you're supposed to pursue during the course of a normal human life. If you can do that, then you can be in a band for 10 years; especially a band that doesn't pay.

Is that true for all of you?

Craig Keller (CH): I was gonna say that liking the music, and uh… the people…

(Laughter)

JM: Yeah, I think I was gonna say the same thing. I mean, I think we get along and we're all very much into the music we're doing, and we have a lot of fun doing it. In fact, if we could do that instead of our jobs, that would be the ideal situation.

J: But if you think of 10 years through a normal person's life there are so many forces and things they would do in a 10 year span that could easily pull them away from doing music. I mean, there are things that could happen. You could move to another town for another job. You could decide to get married…

So many things could happen in the course of your life to change your direction, and yet that's what's so remarkable, because you've been together for so long that you've maintained it.

J: Right, especially without being paid. I mean, I think it's a lot easier to be in a band for 10 years if you make enough money that you don't have to do your day job and pay your mortgage in any honest way, you know? …you have to actually have a stupid job during the day and your band at night.

JM: I don't know and I think, I'm not sure if I'm speaking for you guys, but I think the band is what we do, playing music is what I think gets me through the regular rut of working the regular job. This is the release. This is the fun. This is what we wish we could always do.

J: I would completely agree with that. That's how I decided to arrange my life. I try to surround myself with people who have the same sort of goal.

Along those lines, what would you say has been your biggest challenge?

J: Well, personally, every band's got one position they can never keep filled and ours has always been rhythm guitar. So, our one big challenge is every couple of years we have to slough off the exoskeleton of a rhythm guitar player and grow a new one.

(Laughter)

J: It makes you un-gigable for however long a period of time it takes until you can get rhythm guitar boy or girl up to speed. So that's been a challenge, cause about every 2 years we tend to get a new one. They decide to do something else with their lives. I mean, people go and do other things with their lives. I completely understand that. I decided I didn't want that for me. Another thing, which is a big challenge, is to write songs that everybody in the band can get behind. You know? I mean, whatever your song writing process as a group is, it's gotta be something that everybody can deal with and it's gotta be there for the long haul…But you gotta put that ego behind you and go, “what's serving the song better?” typically. And typically that's what we do. I mean, we don't jack off a lot on our songs, right?

JM: No, we're cutting that out. Trying to…

(Laughter)

Speaking of which… (Laughter) Each of your albums has its own feel. How has your music evolved over the years since you started playing music together?

JM: I think part of that's random. Um, well, maybe semi-random. Based on the songs that come in that we play… we never talk about a certain feel for the next record. Sometimes we say, “Oh, the next one is gonna be all wah or whatever…

J: But it never happens.

JM: No, no. I mean, basically Jim brings in the songs. Over the years we've gotten better at learning them, working them together. Figuring out what works and what doesn't. We've become more streamlined in that process of getting ready to record or to play out live. You know, we d

10 Years of Purrfect Music with The Purrs (Seismic Sound) – Seismic Sound

Local band The Purrs, with their dark melodic sounds, edgy guitars, and groovy bass lines, have been a staple in Seattle's psychedelic pop scene for over the past 10 years. I decided to catch up with them to see how things are going 10 years in.

I arrived at Jason Milne's house just as the band finishes an intense practice session in the basement. Sweaty and exhausted, the band ascends into the living room, where, after the mood is set with psychedelic wall projections and scotch pours all around, I sit down with them to talk about the band's 10 year resilience, the kidnapping of Sunset Valley and Little Pieces front man, Herman Jolly, and “pie in the sky”.

You guys just celebrated your 10 year anniversary. When was the actual date … hasn't it passed?

Jason Miln (JM): I think it was in the later half of 2000 because the first half of 2000 we were kind of a different formation with a different person singing. I think we're close to that exact 10 year anniversary.

Jima (J): We just don't know where that specific day is.

Herman Jolly (HJ): If you cut them [in half] and count the rings…it's about 10.

(Laughter explodes)

10 years is a long time. What keeps you guys going strong when other bands have come and gone?

J: If you don't pursue the things you're supposed to pursue during the course of a normal human life. If you can do that, then you can be in a band for 10 years; especially a band that doesn't pay.

Is that true for all of you?

Craig Keller (CH): I was gonna say that liking the music, and uh… the people…

(Laughter)

JM: Yeah, I think I was gonna say the same thing. I mean, I think we get along and we're all very much into the music we're doing, and we have a lot of fun doing it. In fact, if we could do that instead of our jobs, that would be the ideal situation.

J: But if you think of 10 years through a normal person's life there are so many forces and things they would do in a 10 year span that could easily pull them away from doing music. I mean, there are things that could happen. You could move to another town for another job. You could decide to get married…

So many things could happen in the course of your life to change your direction, and yet that's what's so remarkable, because you've been together for so long that you've maintained it.

J: Right, especially without being paid. I mean, I think it's a lot easier to be in a band for 10 years if you make enough money that you don't have to do your day job and pay your mortgage in any honest way, you know? …you have to actually have a stupid job during the day and your band at night.

JM: I don't know and I think, I'm not sure if I'm speaking for you guys, but I think the band is what we do, playing music is what I think gets me through the regular rut of working the regular job. This is the release. This is the fun. This is what we wish we could always do.

J: I would completely agree with that. That's how I decided to arrange my life. I try to surround myself with people who have the same sort of goal.

Along those lines, what would you say has been your biggest challenge?

J: Well, personally, every band's got one position they can never keep filled and ours has always been rhythm guitar. So, our one big challenge is every couple of years we have to slough off the exoskeleton of a rhythm guitar player and grow a new one.

(Laughter)

J: It makes you un-gigable for however long a period of time it takes until you can get rhythm guitar boy or girl up to speed. So that's been a challenge, cause about every 2 years we tend to get a new one. They decide to do something else with their lives. I mean, people go and do other things with their lives. I completely understand that. I decided I didn't want that for me. Another thing, which is a big challenge, is to write songs that everybody in the band can get behind. You know? I mean, whatever your song writing process as a group is, it's gotta be something that everybody can deal with and it's gotta be there for the long haul…But you gotta put that ego behind you and go, “what's serving the song better?” typically. And typically that's what we do. I mean, we don't jack off a lot on our songs, right?

JM: No, we're cutting that out. Trying to…

(Laughter)

Speaking of which… (Laughter) Each of your albums has its own feel. How has your music evolved over the years since you started playing music together?

JM: I think part of that's random. Um, well, maybe semi-random. Based on the songs that come in that we play… we never talk about a certain feel for the next record. Sometimes we say, “Oh, the next one is gonna be all wah or whatever…

J: But it never happens.

JM: No, no. I mean, basically Jim brings in the songs. Over the years we've gotten better at learning them, working them together. Figuring out what works and what doesn't. We've become more streamlined in that process of getting ready to record or to play out live. You know, we d

The Purrs - Tearing Down Paisley Garden (Ptolemaic Terrascope) – Ptolemaic Terrascope

Released in May, this is another in the occasional series “albums that should have been reviewed ages ago”, as the Purrs again demonstrate that they have everything it takes to break through whilst retaining a musical integrity and style. Now ten years and six releases into their career, you get the feeling that the moment of stardom has passed them by, which is a damn shame as their mix of Lou Reed cynicism, jangly guitars and quality melodies seems perfect for that crossover. On the plus side, they continue to make wonderful music, with this seven track album being one of their finest moments.

Opening with the sugared rush of “Only Dreaming”, the band are in fine form, echoes of The Church to be heard as the soaring guitar fills launch the album in perfect style, whilst the lyrics maintain the humour and downbeat point of view of previous releases. The fact that it is a cover of a Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, seems like an aside, so perfectly does it fit the sound of the band, as does the cover of Lee Hazelwood's “Always Something in my Way”, which closes the album in a swirling paisley jangle, proving eclectic musical influences, if nothing else.

Moving back a bit, “Just a Little More” has a wonderfully distorted wah guitar washes running through, adding a sense of decay to the autumn feel of the song, the theme of crumbling society replacing the old with an even worse version of the same thing, beautifully imagined in the music. More paisley pop loveliness can be found on “It Could Be So Wonderful”, an anthemic slice of sound that needs to be turned up for full effect, bet it is a live favourite. More introspective, the downward spiral of “I'm Slipping” is a beautifully realised gem, perfect for those broken relationship moments that we have all experienced, regret and sadness expressed with clarity and a wry humour.

After the slightly treading-water feel of their previous album “Amused Confused and More Bad News”, I am seriously delighted to report that this album gets better the more you listen, now all we need is another 11 minute psychedelic cloud of bliss such as “Creeping Coastline of Lights”, which can be found on their first EP and still remains my favourite moment from The Purrs.

The Purrs - Tearing Down Paisley Garden (The Big Takeover) – The Big Takeover

Always enjoyable, The Purrs hit us with a quick seven song EP to keep us happy. We get five originals, and two covers, which are very nice choices. “I Move Around” by Lee Hazlewood, and Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry’s “Only Dreaming. These songs slide right into the flow, that sort of drawling dream drugged flavor that shines and pops across a landscape of early Warholisms. Brian Jonestown Dandy Underground with a special Seattle twist. Singer Jima moves around in some neo-Lou Reed style, while the music surrounds with psychedelic whams across fuzztones. The drums keep it held steady and building, and the dynamics and harmonics can hit just right, like a stained glass window seen through a smoked haze at sunset.