Michigan’s Pity Sex shift to a slightly different gear on this album, the follow-up to their debut Feast Of Love. On White Hot Moon the scope is larger, the grungey indie-punk being better spread out, through both production and songwriting. Released by Run For Cover on CD and coloured vinyl editions.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 27 April 2016
I could sit here and feel sorry for relationship-nihilists Pity Sex all day, since they’re saying things like “nothing matters” overtop sad, subliminally shoegazed guitars. That’s basically all the things that blogs find sad! The Michigan quartet last sounded exactly like this on ‘Feast of Love’, a victoriously downbeat record from way back in 2013; three years later they sound sharper and their surprises are actually surprising, mixing a penchant for isolated melodies with the bait-n-switch shred of acts like Joanna Gruesome.
“Burden You” wakes you up from their stupor with tenacious bursts of distortion, but for those who want the sweet-laced band they know and love, they still exchange vocal duties like love letters slowly deteriorating in quality. It’s a nice tradeoff, and while before I would’ve accused Pity Sex of not knowing exactly who they want to be or how, I now think they’ve married the indie pop and the noise rock, rather than just meshed it. Some might tell me to shut up and just call it pop-punk: hearing the break in “Bonhomie”, I’d be inclined to believe them, as that melody swings its way into my head through visceral things like chord sequence and loose drumming, and refuses to leave.
I’d say the mark of a good band is when I hear one of their melodies and think “why can’t I write that, though?”, and plenty of these songs do that. “September” recalls the indelible fuzz choruses of Film School, constantly circling through the full-bodied noisiness and the stripped away, guitar-jangling core. Sometimes it’s derivative -- I feel like i’ve heard the hushed, over pedalled dream-pop urgency of “Orange and Red” a hundred times -- but For Pity Sex, a band who nearly always sound completely dejected and very happy to sink into an armchair forever, I’m just surprised that this record has me hanging on to its every mutter.
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