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Pity Sex have ridden atop the vast wave of emo/indie bands the alternative music world has been clogged up with lately, but despite being a small fish in a very, very big pond, these guys have just shown all of their peers how it’s fucking done, jumping right over the crowded camp of bands with the stellar ‘White Hot Moon‘.
The band’s latest record is a potent mixture of 90’s-indie music (minus all the shitty lo-fi quality) with fuzzy grunge rock, over layered with a strong sense of space and beautiful ambiance. Oh, and there’s a fair bit of shoegaze to this album… because that isn’t a totally over-used style and buzz-word for bands these days, is it? (insert sarcasm).
Now, of course, many a band before Pity Sex has done this particular brand of shoegaze/indie/emo/whatever before and to varying degrees of quality (good: Postblue. Bad: No Joy), but here it has not only been done right but also executed with such love and care. Because doing something somewhat typical but to an immensely high standard is infinitely better than trying to craft a whole new sound or style just so your band can look cool and hip, which is just plain idiotic in this writer’s eyes (P.S. the bands that try to be innovative for the sake of it are usually shite). And if you were wondering, yes – Pity Sex take this somewhat typical sound and have taken it to an immensely high standard. Also, the ‘wall of sound’ aesthetic of their music is such a welcome choice that without it, the band’s sound may not be as effective.
We know that this is a big claim to make, but goddamnit, there is no filler to be found here as each of these 12 songs stand tall on their own. Now look, we’ve just been gushing about this record so far and you’ve obviously seen the score we gave it, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty about why we love it.
See, whether or not the band is offering up either soft, dynamic songs or distorted, surging numbers, it is all superb and completely captivating. For the former, you’ve got the chilling duo of ‘Dandelion‘, and ‘Plum‘ (perhaps two of the best songs). Both tracks deal with loss, heartache and the gray area of interpersonal relationships and both make great use of a relaxed atmosphere, minimal instrumentals – well at least for ‘Dandelion‘ – and soft, lullaby-like vocals to carry the relatively heavy themes. As for the latter, ‘Burden You‘, ‘What Might Soothe You‘, ‘A Satisfactory World For Reasonable People‘, and ‘Orange And Red‘ are at the other end of the spectrum and feature far more instrumentation, more distortion to the guitars and the bass, and have more driving rhythms to them than the other more dynamic, “restrained” songs (i.e. ‘Dandelion‘). But no matter what side of their sound the band is showcasing on ‘White Hot Moon‘, it is guaranteed to be brilliant and all those of songs we just mentioned are grand examples of the Pity Sex‘s perfect balance of substance and style in each and every song.
One of the big hooks of the band is the interplay between guitarist/co-singer Britty Drake’s soft, ethereal vocals complementing the low, droning vocals of fellow guitarist Brennan Greaves. These two singers work very well in conjunction, and when you add in the tight drumming, the fuzzy bass, the heavy distortion (or the insanely melodic guitars), you get this surreal, satisfying “struck-gold” moment that is dominant throughout the record’s 40 minute run time.
Pity Sex are a real gift to the indie/emo music scene and with a little bit of shoegaze thrown into their sound, all of you hipsters can listen to them confidently without feeling like utter normies. Seriously, ‘White Hot Moon’ is a fantastic record and a BIG contender for any Album of the Year list (A lot like All Human’s latest – I still can’t get over how good that record was).
1. A Satisfactory World For Reasonably People
2. Burden You
5. What Might Soothe You
7. Nothing Rips Through Me
8. Orange And Red
10. White Hot Moon
11. Pin A Star
12. Wappen Beggars