June 25, 2013 - Run For Cover
Shoegazer pop is a rare genre that is so very indebted to a specific set of sounds and approaches. If you want to toss that descriptor on to your band, you'd better have invested all your bar mitzvah money in guitar pedals and some psilocybin mushrooms to help haze up your songwriting mind. How high into the stratosphere you get depends on where you go from there. In the case of Pity Sex, the band don't shy away from recognizing the raft of American bands that picked up Fender Jazzmasters after hearing My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. This Ann Arbor, Michigan, quartet's full-length feels like the product of some young people started with Hum and Starflyer 59 and ended up working their way backwards to MBV and Ride.
The punk-born aggression that laid under the surface of the U.S.-born shoegazer circuit is audible on Feast Of Love as well through the forward marching drums of "Keep" and the trembling rhythms of the disc's speediest cut, "Honey Pot." As well, vocalist/guitarist Brennan Greaves provides some interesting color to these songs trying to mesh his more rock-driven voice with a somnolent croon. The band's other guitarist/vocalist Britty Drake, on the other hand, is pure '90s 4AD Records fantastic. Her singing skirts the edge of a growl but never loses its gilt-edged beauty. She leaves the real siren-like moments for the guitar-and-vocals-only showstopper "Hollow Body," a song perfectly placed at this album's midpoint.
Pity Sex are wise enough to know that they're never going to hit the heights that their influences reached. The quartet are always going to be held back by the weight of comparisons. They should be applauded for the simple fact that they went ahead with this project anyway. Creating some spectacular pop along the way only sweetens their efforts more.