Pity Sex - Feast of Love
Record Label: Run for Cover
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Pity Sex is a four-piece Shoegaze pop/emo band from Ann Arbor, MI
(Sean St. Charles, Brennan Greaves, Britty Drake, Brandan Pierce)
At first glance, Pity Sex is a band with a realllly depressing name, one so sad that you simply have to check them out and see what they're all about. Maybe it's a clever marketing ploy or the members can't help being sadsacks, but whatever the reason, I applaud them on the decision.
The music clearly speaks for itself, and if you've never heard of the term "Shoegaze", imagine a guitarist/vocalist who never looks at the crowd because they're too busy looking down at their various pedals to create the perfect fuzz in the vintage Orange cabs behind them. It's exactly what it sounds like, and Pity Sex executes it perfectly in a package of 10 songs in a mere 28 minutes. For anyone who has heard their EP from last year titled Dark World, the growth and progression is leagues greater than what I expected, this band can only get better with experience and exposure.
The feast begins with lead single "Wind-Up" which was released a few weeks prior. It's the poppiest jam on the album, with very catchy lyrics and a fuzz filled solo towards the end, complete with harmonizing vocals from the duo of guitarists, Britty Drake and Brennan Greaves. This tactic works very well on multiple tracks on the album, including "Smoke Screen" and "Drown Me Out" and is something that wasn't highlighted on the EP that should have. Having a girl vocalist is a powerful thing, and Britty is amazing in her delivery and melody.
Remember before how I said the members might all be sadsacks? Well I take that back, cause Britty Drake is one of the happiest people I've seen, as evident on her feature on Small Talk, a web show put on by Run for Cover. And she sure gets her fair share of the spotlight on this album after only leading "Dogwalk" on the EP. She leads 4 tracks here, including the mid-album beauty of "Hollow Body" and the final course of "Fold". Both are slow moving wonders that set Pity Sex apart and launch them into a more accessible genre blend. Greaves has his own star treatment after being the golden boy on Dark World, the standouts being "Honey Pot", the aforementioned "Wind-Up", and my personal favorite "Sedated". The track picks up the second half of the album with a punch and a purpose after Britty's amazing performance, sending the fuzz-filed wall of sound even further lodged into your eardrums.
The lyricism is akin to 90's emo and generally sad topics; a natural juxtaposition of pop-punk's recent fame of posi attitudes and vibes. "St. John's Wort" pays homage to their name with the lyric I'll try to medicate, swallow my pity/ Wish you would stay with me, tell me it's easy. "Drown Me Out" features one of the simplest lines sung in the background, highlighting its effect even more. You've got a pretty way about you when you drown me out. And lastly, "Drawstring", despite the whirling bended guitar licks, has the most depression-laced lyrics I've heard since Basement's famous "Pine": Your name is a drawstring/ Laced around my neck, tighter with every breath. The lyrics are sung so softly that the undertone almost goes unnoticed, a trait Pity Sex possesses better than anyone.
Seriously, go listen to these guys, Run for Cover has given us a treat of a year so far and this album is no different. It's not for everyone, but I would highly recommend to give it a chance when you have some free time to be sad. All of this is coming from a kid who couldn't believe that he was about to listen to (let alone like) a band with a name like Pity Sex. We could all use a little pity sex in our lives, why not let it be a band for a change?
3. Drown Me Out
4. Smoke Screen
5. Hollow Body
7. Honey Pot
9. St. John's Wort