i go through broad cycles in my musical taste that continuously encompasses bands that prefer to drench their sound with fuzzed-out guitars and melancholy lyrics. when i reach this point on the cyclical pattern, i usually can’t get enough of these acts, spinning their wax on my turntable as much as possible and pumping them through my headphones at work. thankfully, pity sex caught me at the perfect moment, because i can’t stop listening.
the ann arbor quartet released their debut album, feast of love, today, its ten tracks clocking in at just under thirty minutes of gorgeous shoegaze revival with a smart pop sensibility. even though they’ve only been around for a couple of years, pity sex have made a name for themselves, utilizing last year’s dark world ep to solidify their hard-earned place in a community that is equal parts punk and indie. while dark world was rough around the edges, the band’s full-length debut feels polished in a casual lo-fi sense; the vocals blend with the instruments, but nothing sounds too muddy.
guy-girl vocals have been done in indie-pop for years in various states of depression (for self-deprecation, see the pains of being pure at heart; for things more morose, see veronica falls). while not on slumberland like these other two bands, pity sex still falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum; on album opener “wind-up,” brennan greaves warns the listener that he’s nothing special and wallows in a monotone of self-pity, but other songs like “honey pot” have an undeniable upbeat attitude that evokes something lighter from the band’s persona.
co-vocalist britty drake steals the show. her turn on “keep” bumps the song up to one of my favorites on the album, and provides a nice complement to the low mumblings of greaves. also worth mentioning is the lead guitar work found across feast of love. it’s a cut above anything i would ever expect out of a contemporary noise-pop outfit like this, and makes me flash back to early dinosaur jr.
pity sex aren’t doing anything groundbreaking, nor are they trying to do so. they don’t have to. for a group of hardcore scene kids from michigan, feast of love isn’t a bad debut at all.