The Vestals :: "Perfect Pain"

Emotional rock never dies, it just changes its delivery system every few years. The Vestals, a band with a churning and consumptive first single, "Perfect Pain," traffic in this maybe-insipid sentimental geography and the chorus is the archetype, waxing, "Say you'll stay the same/please don't change/it's a perfect pain." The refrain is rooted in three notes, the band modulating between them as the the arrangement, a chunkier Pains Of Being Pure At Heart or maybe We Were Promised Jetpacks playing twee music, unloads a carbonated strum pattern and chord resolutions that feel necessarily life affirming. It's so serious, it's nearly silly, a diary read at Marshall Stack volume, break up emails shouted aloud years later, and yet "Perfect Pain" is full of hooks and winning melody. Pop is, after all, a mirror. If this is a bit embarrassing in its lyrics, so are we all.

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