Per Purpose

Circle the Stains

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Australian post-punk quartet Per Purpose explode in all directions on debut full-length Circle the Stains, calling up both ghosts of the past and reflections of the state of contemporary punk over the course of the album's eight blasts of calculated noise. There are moments that call to mind the unhinged basement punk fervor of acts like Tyvek, Parquet Courts, and fellow Australians Royal Headache, but Per Purpose's style, while angular and winding, is far more controlled, with even the sloppy moments of guitar overspill sounding carefully constructed. "Kerbside Collection" begins with a grueling bassline akin to the Birthday Party's best grooves, and moments later "Isn't It" comes across like a more aggressive version of Brighten the Corners-era Pavement. Not quite from the short-fast-loud school of punk, the tunes here can veer more toward the mediational, such as on the motorik rhythm and searching, sinewy guitar lines of the almost eight-minute-long "Made Mind." The song wanders through tense twists, with vocalist Glan Schenau sneering and slurring a slew of lyrics and a haunted violin offering some faint notes from somewhere in the distance. This thinking man's punk still retains all the excitement and fervor of any number of Wire-worshiping bands, but offers up a more dynamic look at punk traditions, preferring to use the basic foundations of punk as a jumping-off point for more obtuse, experimental, and interesting ideas.

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