Review Summary: sedated and shameless, sedated and shameless
As much as we might like to get our hopes up after hearing an especially impressive EP or split, the truth is that some bands simply don’t translate well to the full-length format. Whether if its because of a lacking aspect of the artist or simply due to the style’s suitability with a shorter structure, the aforementioned debut full-lengths are (unfairly?) bemoaned when they don’t live up to the EP’s hype. One example that comes to mind as of recent is Memoryhouse. I’ve yet to find a band of the chillwave style (dying breed as it may be) that works better with more space in an LP than in the condensed form. Memoryhouse is no exception; in attempting to traverse the great EP-to-LP divide, they mistakenly forgot to transfer the most critical elements of what made their sound originally so beautiful and unique. Conceptually, the same can be said about Pity Sex on their debut, Feast of Love
Laughably poor lyrics aside on Dark World
, the release had such dynamism and energy. The tradeoffs between guy/girl vocalists were a refreshing aspect rather than a mere retreading of an old trope. On Dark World
, Pity Sex were gritty, and there was a lovable charm to the grime that seeped through the unfiltered chords. In their place, the band multiplies the shoegaze-y atmosphere hinted towards earlier, and concentrates on texture. It’s an interesting combination of aesthetics, but ultimately fails because Pity Sex highlight all the wrong areas. The lyrics on Dark World
were largely obscured behind catchy rhythms and a lively vigor that kept the EP potent and poignant, but that’s not the case any longer. And while the previous release masterfully straddled a line between punk, Midwestern emo, and indie stylings all through a lo-fi lens, Feast
commits itself much more wholeheartedly to a tone-driven, shoegaze aura, the production is much cleaner, and is generally worse off for it.
Then again, perhaps my perceived flaccidness of Feast
is only my expectations warily wobbling down (a tumbling crash would be too dramatic and dynamic a descriptor for the monotonous release). At the very least, the LP has a beautiful flow to it where each track blends nicely into one another, especially impressive given that it’s their debut. And while “Honey Pot” doesn’t hold a candle to previous standouts, its energy in the center of Feast
livens up the record considerably. Still, Pity Sex’s latest isn’t an utter failure by any means; lessons can be learned from its pitfalls. As talented and capable as the band have proven they can be, it’s still crucial that they concentrate on their strengths. While one’s gotta admire their style-shifting, it doesn’t seem to be a path worth dawdling down much further.