Pity Sex - Dark World
Record Label: Run for Cover
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Pity Sex is a four-piece Shoegaze pop/emo band from Ann Arbor, MI
(Britty Drake, Brennan Greaves, John St. Charles, Brandan Pierce)
Try and hold back the obvious chuckles and grievances about a band called Pity Sex, but these shoegazers from Michigan are here to stay. Dark World is their debut EP and includes 6 tracks of pure fuzz and sadness (in a good way) that leaves you with a sense joy and wanting for more. What is exceptional about this release is the amount of small details that are buried under the instrumentation, a lot is going on here. Eventually, the idiosyncrasies that set Pity Sex apart become more and more apparent.
Their most well kept secret (unless you personally know the band or live in MI and are just hipster enough to listen to them) is Britty Drake, guitarist and co-lead vocalist, and she is amazing. Cue all the pop-punk turned sad kids of the 90s to have all of a sudden crushes on her, she is adorable after all. What's more impressive is that she does it all while being in the background 80% of the time on this record. She only gets one lead part, on "Dogwalk", and she absolutely seizes the opportunity and triumphs with flying colors. The simplicity and tactness of the track combined with her near-perfect delivery forces me to ask why she isn't featured more as an asset. Don't get me wrong, Brennan Greaves is equally as good with his quivering and sullen vocals, but the band would absolutely benefit from Drake getting a few more opportunities to stand out.
The lyrics here are dreary, dark, and filled with angst despite the softness of Greaves' style, which accents the fuzz very nicely by lulling the listener along for the ride. "When You're Around" begins with a line that will most likely end up on tumblr edits for years (once they find out about these guys, that is) and will be the anthem for emo kids everywhere, How did I get so depressed? / I wasn't born like this. How an international company the likes of "Coca Cola" let a little band from Michigan use their branding and didn't allow Brand New to do so is beyond me, but luckily for Pity Sex, the song is just as sweet as the soft drink. But the world's not sweet enough / Your love's not sweet enough. And I'm not stopping / 'Til all my teeth are rotten. It's a brilliant spin on the sweetness of Coca Cola; the track composing fuzzed out guitars and lyrics perfectly in a manner that Pity Sex excels at.
As an EP, Dark World is a sign of great things to come for these four Michigan punks and I cannot wait to see which direction it takes them. I read a short while ago on a forum about how gimmicky Pity Sex is as a band name and how they were doomed to play in small local venues their entire career. Sure they might not be the most accessible group in the world, but they deserve credit for playing music they love. Even if their fame never exceeds playing floor and basement shows, I'd still be more than proud to say that I liked a band called Pity Sex. (Nothing to be ashamed of!) Go check them out on Bandcamp and Myspace and support them any way you can.
1. When You're Around
3. Hole Away
4. Coca Cola
6. Flower Girl