There would have been a time when the release of a recording like White Hot Moon – the latest album from Michigan four-piece Pity Sex – would have made me run straight to the local indie store, grab a copy, hurry straight back to the share house, remove Jonquil’s Flowered Up LP from the turntable, throw it on and crank it up, kick the stray cat off the armchair that Roddy found on the footpath outside the condemned house on the corner – and, once safely ensconced comfortably, listen intently until it was time to turn the album over – and then quite probably sit through a few consecutive listens.
But that was in the introspective days of the early 1990s.
In 2016 I am not sure that I would fork out the readies for this album because my CD shelf already has much of the Ride, Slowdive, Curve, Spacemen 3, Loop and My Bloody Valentine back catalogues sitting there waiting for me to have the occasional nostalgic shoegazing moment, and that’s more than enough.
That is not to say Pity Sex do not have some charm – they are playing a style of music that many will have great affection for – but the laconic vocals and the droning feedback laden guitars which dominate most of these songs do little to disguise the fact that the band are highly derivative of so many others that went before them and that they have done little to stamp the genre with their own unique signature.
There is not enough variation amongst the songs to set any one particular tune apart from the rest, the album is mono-paced and its cumulative effect is soporific – hence that is why they call this ‘dream pop’.
If you do feel the need to get intimately involved with this album and seek a momentary rekindling of the spark of a long past musical relationship – be warned – you may find the experience falls short of your romanticized memories.
Is that akin to participating in Pity Sex?
Reviewed by Ken Grady