Dirty on Purpose, Like Bees (Digital Only Plus Bonus Track)

Alex Benenson

By Alex Benenson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The 20 minute nap gets a perfect soundtrack.

A year and a half after their strong debut full-length, Hallelujah Sirens, Brooklynites Dirty on Purpose have returned with five more tracks of shoegaze somnambulance. From the guitars swaddled in static blankets, it's clear that this quintet still nods off to a bedside stereo full of Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine. This time around, though, producer Mark Ephraim (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the National) has weaved sounds from his own back catalogue — airy vocals and hypnotic, mobius-strip basslines — into their dreamscape. “Audience in the Room,” a quaint diagram of stage fright (“Words fail tonight/ You can't get your jaw to co-operate/ You change your mind”), is a standout, embroidered with elegant guitarwork and verses that seem to drift, flutter and twirl, effortless and weightless as leaves from a tree. The album's high-points are furnished by gorgeous male/female harmonies that layer varying registers and timbres to create a timeless pop texture. Dedicated fans will note the ineffably simple “Back to Sleep,” resurrected from their first demo, the title which reveals the origins of the philosophy that has since become Dirty On Purpose's endearing refrain: When things get too tough, just dim the lights, curl up and drift away.