I remember hearing the 15-minute debut self-titled EP that landed Brooklyn’s the Pains, then a trio, their Band To Watch in 2007, and being struck with how well chosen and rendered their influences were. Last week I spoke with Matt Pinfield for his new series 120 Seconds (a new companion to the resurrected 120 Minutes, and literally a sign of the times), and of the many (many) contemporary bands we discussed, the Pains — and their tastes, and growth between records on their new full-length Belong — were one that got considerable (and similar) lip service. The Flood-produced and Alan Moulder-mixed collection has a lower center of gravity in its production, slightly less gauzy and slightly more visceral, but still an uncanny sense for melancholic indie pop, wistful shoegazer, sticky melodies. Last night on Letterman it was “Heart In Your Heartbreak,” a song that mixes a little bit of all of that, complete with a triumphant thumbs-up from Kip Berman and an extended closeup of Peggy Wang-East’s hands on the keyboard. Verily, Letterman took the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s fingers and made them TV stars.
Here’s 120 Seconds with Matt Pinfield:Belong is out 3/29 via Slumberland (stream it), 120 Minutes is back as a monthly show on MTV2 later this year, 120 Seconds just premiered on mtvhive.com. The ’90s would approve.