For Fans Of
It’s not easy to stare lifelessly at your shoes when you are playing music this fast, but maybe that was Pity Sex’s plan. Their debut full length pays extreme homage to the shoegaze genre without falling into a pit of blatant copyright infringement from the bands they are clearly influenced by.
To be fair, the music isn’t really that "fast", but the drum rhythms seem to cut through the haze of distortion and provide a solid backbone to a genre that can often be less controlled. Opening track ‘Wind-Up’ nails this, while showing why this band may be onto something, the heavy pop influence, mainly in the vocals, which give the songs a certain colour with the nonchalant delivered melodies. This rule applies to both the male and female vocals, both of which compliment the surprisingly charismatic guitar lines.
Every element in this band is slightly more colourful than it should be, welcome to the shoegaze of the future. The song structures and sounds of the first half stick to a similar formula before the mid point, which features the short and dreamy ‘Hollow Body’, a guitar and vocal only number, which is a beautiful as it can be a little creepy. This marks a turn to the melancholy with its follower ‘Sedated’, a slow and grungy number devoid of the colourful melody that has been so present before it.
The production makes sure the mess isn’t too messy, everything has its place and compliments well, even in ‘St. John’s Wort’, which features guitar and vocal lines pitched in such a similar fashion that it teeters on the edge of not quite working but somehow manages to, creating the most sonically diverse song on the record.
‘Honey Pot’ speeds things back up before the slow wall of sound that is the huge album closer ‘Fold’. This genre lends itself towards monotony, which is sort of the point, but Pity Sex throw out enough life rafts to make this worthy of a few spins.
Pity Sex more than likely are not trying to modernise the shoegaze genre, but that is exactly what they are doing. The pop elements of this record make it very accessible, in a good way, as the light is shining through the ever so often glum.
3. Drown Me Out
4. Smoke Screen
5. Hollow Body
7. Honey Pot
9. St. John’s Wort