What do you get when you take an insane amount of energy assembled into a three-piece band from Texas? – I give you Purple. The whole time I was listening to 409, I pictured an album that you have to really see live, or even a soundtrack to live action events like skydiving or base jumping. There are ten tracks of free-flowing energy that if you listened to it, you would picture guitar swings and jumping off drum rigs. There’s a twinge of 60’s rock and feel with this band emblazoned with a youth spirit. I wouldn’t exactly call it flower power because Purple has bark in their bite.
From the first song, “Wallflower”, sung by drummer/vocalist Hanna Brewer, there’s a sense that this is going to be a fun and unrelenting record. Brewer’s style cadence reminded me of The White Stripes‘ “Ball And Biscuit” – while there are elements from those type of bands, Purple puts enough uniqueness in to make it their own sound. “Double Nickels” and “Leche Loco” follow among the same lines, having guitarist Taylor Busby trade vocals with Brewer. There are crazy tempo changes afoot with guitar riffs that were made for a dance floor.
The next song, “Beach Buddy” threw me for a loop as it’s more of a Beach Boys, laid back type of track. The sudden change of tempo was interesting coming from such high-powered induced tracks. “Newborn” is another slow, bluesy track that shows that the band has range in their repertoire. With a record that has so many fireworks, they felt a little out of place because the majority of the record entitles you to get up and dance. They almost serve as breaks in between that let you catch your breath.
“DMT” may be one of the best songs on the whole album and wraps it up nicely. It’s a six minute, fifteen second jam session which has a good merging of bass by Joe Cannariato, Busby’s crazy guitar chords, and Brewer’s raspy delivery. “Thirteen” is marked by a gigantic breakdown in the middle of song that is very reminiscent of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in some aspects. There’s no New York sound, but more of a western angst to it.
With bands like Royal Blood coming into the fold last year, there is definitely a lane for Purple to ride and ultimately devise their own path in. With more albums, the band will be able to channel the chaotic frenzy into other avenues to grow their musical repertoire. It’s not to say that 409 isn’t a good album to listen to – it’s a musical version of high voltage. There are points where you were you would like to see it develop beyond that, but I think everyone will give Purple a chance to make it so.