Projects recorded at home are all the rage nowadays. Brooklyns Pursesnatchers began as a home-recording, husband-and-wife duo consisting of Doug Marvin of Dirty on Purpose and Au Revoir Simones Annie Hart. The two would later go on to recruit friends Jared Barron and Harold Liu to transform Pursesnatchers into a live entity, and the group remained a quartet when recording their full-length debut, A Pattern Language, in both home and professional studios.
A Pattern Language starts with a bang thanks to opener Forever Overhead, a catchy number that simultaneously recalls and forgets shoegaze with guitars that shimmer in the sun, rather than dream in a sea of noise. The influence of shoegaze on Pursesnatchers is evident throughout A Pattern Language, offering an undeniable tribute to Yo La Tengos brand of swirling guitars. Synths of the ambient variety are used to allow tracks such as A Parting Prayer to truly float in space, while infusing Wet Cement with a sense of urgency.
Pursesnatchers may now be a full band that records in professional studios, but they have lost none of their home-recorded aesthetic on A Pattern Language. At the forefront of the guitar swirl, ambient synths that float in space, and Doug Marvins dulcet, understated voice is a lo-fi fuzz that gives the album a vintage, analogue feel. A Pattern Language is a remarkably consistent effort, almost to a fault. Opener Forever Overhead is the one true standout among an album of songs that while pleasant and dreamy do not always achieve an identity of their own.