Pity Sex

Feast Of Love

Written by: TL on 15/08/2013 22:06:09

In case you weren't clued in by the mindblowingly good band name, Pity Sex are cool. Beside their name, they have a concept to their album covers and they have a chick in their band, which - especially if she plays drums or, even better, bass (it doesn't say anywhere that I can find?) - amounts to three things other than music that would immediately make any self-confessed indie-rock enthusiast like myself think: "man, I'm positive I'm also going to like it once I actually hear their music".

When first we heard from the band, their style of sadness swayed on the edge between the low-fi, emo-punk revivalists of the current midwestern American underground - think Brave Bird, Dowsing and such - and the somewhat hipper, metropolitan, indie noise-pop sensations like Yuck, Sonic Youth and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Establishing themselves more firmly with this their debut album "Feast Of Love", it seems like the Ann Arbor quartet has decided to lean more decisively in the latter direction however, trying hard to not try hard, and allowing the thick buzz of reverb-y, overdriven guitars to further contrast their introverted boy/girl vocal-delivery.

The result is a soundscape that's minilastic in composition, yet sounds thick from its effect pedals - the sort of sound you'd expect from a band comprised of characters from "Scott Pilgrim..", "Nick & Norah.." and "Juno". A bit too snappy a fit to a stereotype that might already feel tired to some maybe, but still a characteristic stamp of a style to match the packaging that I don't think should go unappreciated, on the condition of course, that the songs on "Feast Of Love" are worth writing home about.

The question is then: Are they? Or should Pity Sex perhaps have tried just a little harder, as opposed to expecting their understated coolness to win an audience's favour for them? The fact that I'm even posing that question should team up with my not having gotten specific with any one moment or song so far in the review, to reveal that I am indeed leaning that way. "Drown Me Out" is only almost catchy in the repetition of its title and "Wind-Up" has a nice bit of melody towards the end in the line "my head won't stop turning". Then a bit of variety also arrives mid-record when "Hollow Body" slows the pace to a crawl to offer some hypnotisingly serene and clean guitar-noodling, while "Honey Pot" ups the tempo and lets a characteristic guitar line shine through from the background, and "Drawstring" offers a selection of effects that's rather strikingly different from what's come before.

The little that does separate the songs from each other as the album moves on however, only really appears in that capacity - that it is little - and for the most part, the minimalism that has helped make Pity Sex's soundscape cool, has crept into the department of good songwriting ideas in an unfortunate way. So while the type of hipster chicks that I not-so-secretly wish would fling themselves at me in droves, would probably have me believe that this sort of deliberate understatement is exactly why Pity Sex are a lot cooler than all the try-hard bands I tend to like, I will quietly maintain that this is an Emperor's New Clothes kind of argument that I'm not inclined to buy when it comes to "Feast Of Love".

Download: Wind-Up, Drown Me Out, Honey Pot
For The Fans Of: Yuck, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, The Raveonettes,
Listen: facebook.com/PitySexMI

Release Date 25.06.2013
Run For Cover

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