After the seductive, slightly sordid allure of The Velvet Underground a few days ago, it seemed only right to now devote some blogspace to some more dark and dangerous music - this time a little closer to home in Newcastle based femme fatale, Kira Puru: Australia's own Venus in fur.
If bitch blues was a musical genre, Kira Puru would be its undisputed queen. Her voice has that gutsy granite sound, chiselled out by wine and cigarettes, a voice that can tease and deceive you while it licks its lips at you, from somewhere way up in the sky and then, the moment you look in its direction, drag you down by the balls, down into the hell you deserve, crushing them and you as it takes you there.
If you get to see Kira Puru and the Bruise perform live, you won't regret it - as long as you go armed. She will stand and sing to you, glass of red in one hand, fur stole around her shoulders, telling you what will happen if you cross her. It is music that is borne of the eternal, but deadly, liaison of pain, bitterness and a capacity for revenge that knows no limits. Music that caresses you while it is twisting its knife into you. And yet you fill her glass for her, and then come back for more.
I have seen Kira Puru perform twice now, and have bought both of her EP length albums. The first of each was earlier this year, when her band was called The Very Geordie Malones; the second much more recently, when their name had changed to The Bruise. I'm not sure why there was the name change but there is, in any event, something much more bruised and bruising about their music now - music which, even back then, was hardly sweet and sentimental. Now the voice is a little darker, the music a little starker, the assault a little more fatal.
Compare, for example, the tantilising tingles, the little hint of innocence, with which 'One eye open' lures you to your destruction, the song with which her first self-titled EP opens, with the brutal, no prisoners-taken, attack of 'The liar', the title and opening track of the second album. "Make peace with Mother Earth" the first song advises you, at least giving you a chance to save your soul before your death; "Don't talk to me about anger when I've got a loaded gun" the second song warns, giving you little chance to do anything other than, perhaps, to run.
The music, like the voice that sings it, comes from the veins that are left over when a heart has been ripped out - music that sits by the bar, drinking, late at night, plotting not just how to even the score, but how to win. It's music that still loves, but loves fatally, like in 'Ragdoll baby' with its heavy beat, like a ravenous heart, crying out, "you excite me when you bleed". It's music that knows how to deal with pain, like in the final song of the The Liar: "what's it gonna be/the devil said to me/you can keep the pain/or give your soul to me/take your pick".
The red wine, the fur and the terrorisingly good music of Kira Puru leaves you in no doubt as to what her choice will be.