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Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Pity Sex is a quartet of co-ed navel gazers, prone to the kind of self-pitying that emo groups are either revered or derided for indulging in. The band's debut LP, Feast of Love (originally released in 2013), cloaks its despondent, lovelorn lyricism in a thick sheet of scuzzy pop-punk guitars that gives the record a far more diverse range of accessibility than many of their peers. By electing for the "something for everyone" approach rather than straying too far in any direction, Feast of Love limits its range, but still presents a solid, catchy first full-length outing.

The first track on the record, 'Wind-Up', quickly tips Pity Sex's hand, showing their pop sensibilities from the outset. Vocalist Brennan Greaves, who shares that position with Britty Drake throughout the record, comes off sounding like a droopy Mark Hoppus. Meanwhile, the guitar riffs recall the best of '90s pop-punk, sounding both anthemic and uncaring at the same time.

As Feast of Love presses on, however, Pity Sex become increasingly thick in their sonics, making it more difficult for the pop elements to show themselves through the wall of fuzzy guitars and grungy basslines. Despite this, neither Greaves nor Drake has a problem making their voice standout, a problem many have with shoegazy tunes. It is the pair's vocals that ultimately give Pity Sex their biggest success. While each of them succeed in delivering their lyrics with emotion and force, it will be exciting to hear how the group makes use of the co-lead vocalist dynamic on future releases.

Even as the sludgy guitar parts chug along, the album manages to clock in at a brisk 28 minutes, which keeps the record from ever dragging or coming off as platitudinous. Each track has its own, distinct nuances that allow every song to provide a unique auditory pleasure, while still maintaining a general level of cohesion throughout the record. However, the album's quick run time also seems to limit several of the tracks from developing appropriately, such as the criminally short 'Drawstring', which makes use of a wobbly instrumental that definitely could have been explored further. 'Hollow Body', which comes in the middle of the album, also feels a bit out of place. Drake's voice soars and the track lacks any of the distortion present elsewhere on Feast of Love. It is a beautiful track, however it is a bit jarring when listening to the record all the way through.

Despite these flaws, Pity Sex's debut showcases an immense amount of talent, as they are able to inject just enough pop into their expressive wall of sound to make the record stand out from many of their label mates who appeal to the same general audience. However, when considering their label, Pity Sex also serves as yet another reminder that Boston-based indie label Run For Cover Records has amassed one of the most impressive collection of artists in music, including Modern Baseball, Elvis Depressedly, Adventures and Tigers Jaw.

Having toured extensively with a number of the groups listed above, who fall decidedly into the poppier end of the spectrum, it will be interesting to see how Pity Sex's musical development progresses. Feast of Love is a skilful and exciting, if somewhat flawed, debut and is indicative of the band's sizeable potential.

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