Pentimento - Wrecked EP
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Record Label: Panic Records
Pentimento’s Wrecked EP is not something to get up in arms about. This music has been done before. Hot Water Music more or less started the trend of whiskey-drenched vocals infecting “post-punk” or “post-hardcore” or whatever genre the genre Nazis want to peg this stuff as. To me, this is punk music. That’s all it is. If you want a more specific characterization, I would heavily compare Pentimento’s debut EP for Panic Records to Make Do And Mend’s recent full-length on Paper + Plastick.
Featuring an accessibility that makes this the sort of punk that your girlfriend doesn’t mind listening to in the car, Wrecked is certainly deeper than a first impression might reveal. “Rules Of Attraction” is a well-balanced opener, highlighting equal parts impressive musicianship and hook-laden (at least for this type of music) vocals. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but I can appreciate a subtle hook just as much as one that comes along with a polished sheen. Pentimento is already well on its way to uncovering the magic that comes along with those subtle hooks – something that’s evident on “Walking Calmly In Your Wake,” where Jeramiah Pauly unleashes a catharsis when he yells at you to “please uncross your fingers.”
The cathartic ending of that track is on the opposite side of the fence as its bridge, which is carried by clean-ish guitar plucks. Pentimento is good at balancing the punk, the subtle hooks and the better-than-it-should-be guitar work – something that’s even easier to appreciate when one realizes this is just a debut EP. “Everything’s Eventual” is the catchiest track presented on Wrecked, and Pauly’s cry of, “My night’s now spent / Confessing to pillows everything done under sheets” is one that can instantly reel a listener in.
Pentimento put a polaroid picture on the front cover of its EP. The picture is of a man and a woman, but their faces are scratched out. We don’t know who they are. Under the picture, there is a single Sharpie-inked sentence that reads, “I think we’ve wrecked each other in the most beautiful way possible.” I don’t really know exactly what that means, and I’m sure it’s one of those artistic things that we’re all supposed to form our own opinions of, but I think it makes perfect sense. Pentimento could have written a destructive, cannonball-sized bulldozer of an EP, but they instead choose to keep it all balanced. It’s for that reason that Wrecked is a success. It’s not anywhere near perfect, it’s not going to meander its way to my year-end list and it shows kinks this band will work out of its sound with time. But it’s a pretty great place to start.