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Straight outta Beaumont, Texas, comes Purple, with a lopsided grin, brass knuckles on fists and a cool debut LP called 409. The power trio adds a little punk, a little pop, a little psych and a whole lotta noisy riff rock a la the 90s alternative nation (the one that ruled prior to the ascendance of Nirvana clones) for an instantly appealing rock & roll stew that goes down smooth but leaves an enticing aftertaste. Six-stringer Taylor Busby alternates between sugary texture and salty bash, often weaving into the busy basslines provided by Smitty Smith. Drummer Hannah Brewer does more than keep time – her giddy wallop and playful fills interlock with her bandmates’ riffs the way Keith Moon‘s kit joined the frontline in the Who. She also mates her baby doll howl with Busby’s weathered rasp for a vocal interplay like a long-married couple, one half driven by eternal optimism and the other by brash cynicism – cf. the bitter and playful “Beach Buddy” for a microcosmic view of Purple’s cheeky attack. The band perfectly balances grizzled toughness and wide-eyed tunefulness on “Head on the Floor,” “WallFlower” and “I’m Your Hell,” giving equal time to hooks and crunge. Longtime road-dogs despite their tender age, the Purple ones blaze with the experience of veterans as much as the exuberance of youth, and that makes 409 a rock & roll record that’s as impressively accomplished as it is a whole lot of fun.
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