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Purson's sophomore release, Desire's Magic Theatre, is their coming of age, a record that starts off with a ballad to DMT and gets better from there. This is a psychedelic rock and roll dream, creepy, powerful and spiritually uplifting.


Album Review: PURSON Desire's Magic Theatre

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Purson are one of the most interesting bands in rock and roll, and having just toured the US with Ghost they are getting ready to head back with the peerless The Sword. This is a band who reek of rock and roll, with their weird attire, distinct aesthetic and a sound that is quite honestly timeless. Their sophomore release, Desire's Magic Theatre, is their coming of age, a record that starts off with a ballad to DMT and gets better from there. This is a psychedelic rock and roll dream, creepy, powerful and spiritually uplifting… the band has gone above and beyond with this release. Everything about it from the songwriting to the production values is a testament to the enormous travail that it represents, and hints at the elevated place in the world of rock and roll that Purson so evidently deserve. With so much rock music falling into stoner rock oblivion, Purson remain iconoclastic and over the top. With Desire's Magic Theatre they may have just taken their rightful place as one of the modern masters of rock and roll.

One of the things that has always captured my imagination with Purson is their ability to reek of class while simultaneously infusing their music with creepy, almost witchy elements. The eroticism and magic dripping off of frontwoman Rosalie Cunningham's vocals in songs like "Electric Landlady" is a key part of this, as is the magical synth playing. It allows the band to strike a balance between dark and light, arena rock and dorky basement worship. As much as Purson might want to be Led Zeppelin, they've done their homework, and Desire's Magic Theatre proves that they are a part of a larger female rock tradition with strong roots infused in bands like Coven and maybe even Black Widow. While at times Purson do fall into old school worship and leave you craving for fresher meats, the majority of the record has wonderfully innovative vibe. Though things are steeped in familiar sounds, Purson are clearly their own thing and loving every minute of it.

Purson are obviously still expanding their sound and it's easy for them to get caught in familiar tropes that some of their more evolved peers might avoid. That doesn't mean that Desire's Magic Theatre is a dull listen… it isn't by any stretch of the imagination. In fact the band's ability to traverse the different sides of rock and roll is endlessly promising, and it is shockingly easy to get lost in the band's very distinct soundscapes. Purson are one of the most exciting bands on the modern rock scene because of their ability to find balance. They represent a way forward in a genre that many critics have dubbed as dead. Why? Because they write their own rules and don't feel the pressures their stoner rock peers are beholden to. Little matter if these rules happen to reflect their musical heritage or not, Purson are simply that badass. If you can find the chance to dive into the sheer poetry of sound that they have cultivated here then you are only going to fall ever more in love with a band, and a genre that is destined to save the world.

Score: 9/10

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