Feast of Love is the debut LP from these American kids, and it’s a transfixing freight train of a record. Taking cues from the shoegaze movement as well as old-school and contemporary emo, it’s hard to believe Pity Sex haven’t been around much longer than they have, so well-defined and crafted is their vision, and so comfortable they sound cranking out these living, breathing jams. Having two vocalists, one male and one female, who trade off lead-duties and harmonise so fantastically under the layers of heady mist adds to the atmosphere of intimacy and intoxication.
There’s an undercurrent of pop simplicity to all of this, and it draws the listener deeper and deeper into the sonic rabbit hole on tracks like ‘Honey Pot’ with its nursery-rhyme like chorus of ‘Honey pot, honey pot, I will take what I want’. There’s no high-concept pretenses here; Pity Sex are far more interested in telling personal, heart-on-sleeve stories, and despite the fuzz separating the listener from the singers, it’s all quite relatable, like all good emo should be. The desperation of ‘Drown Me Out’ and seductive melancholy of ‘Hollow Body’ come across loud and clear. I always like album covers that accurately reflect the mood of the album, and the sexual shenanigans going on here speak of the themes of love and lust that tie the songs together under its smoky, loud fog.
I don’t usually like music that sounds lazy and lethargic, but for Pity Sex, it unquestionably works. The subdued vocals of both singers Britty Drake and Brennan Greaves backed up with music that is often pounding and driving makes for a sensuous and intimate listen. The album is short, there’s no fat on its half-hour runtime, each song is refreshingly different from the last despite the same guitar fuzz showing up pretty much everywhere and nothing outstays its welcome. Its visceral soundscapes and dreamlike progression are pushed as far as they need to be to remain catchy and propulsive. In short, it’s fucking great. Buy it.
TRACK PICKS: ‘Wind-Up’ ‘Drown Me Out’ ‘Honey Pot’
TRACK SKIPS: ‘Drawstring’