||11/13/12 10:21 AM
Pentimento - Pentimento
Pentimento - Pentimento
Record Label: Self- Released
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Finding some middle ground between blue-collar pop-punk and the varied offerings of Brand New, Pentimento’s debut full-length is something peculiar. Not that it’s out in left field, but in a world where pop-punk is touching on ‘90s emo and constantly dabbling in hardcore, the band’s self-titled effort is a bit of a refreshment in a somewhat stale pop-punk scene. Don’t let that comparison throw you off course though – regardless of the tempo they churn at, Pentimento prove to have some pretty amicable songwriting chops for a band just now getting to their first record. Simply said, this is a band you’re gonna want to keep tabs on.
Though opener “Unless” is a hard-working punk’s anthem, and rightfully so with slicing guitars and a driving tempo, “Circles” is the first big swing of the album. Channeling a restrained rock sound best described by everyone including myself as Brand New-ish, the simple guitar lines and harrowing vocals grab your attention with no intent of letting up – especially when the full band chorus kicks in. That vibe isn’t isolated to that track though, as bits and pieces of songs (“For Winter”) revisit it in some form or another. However, the bulk of this album resides in some honest, ever-so-slightly gritty punk that dabbles in some pop-punk ideals. “The Wind” displays that rather promptly in its switching between mid-tempo, driving riffs and bursting strumming when the tempo kicks up, while “Conscience (Consequence)” shows a balance between the band’s punk side and their bigger anthemic moments in what equates to a rather Taking Back Sunday-like number at times.
That point to point sound, which has a solid foundation with quite a few branches, serves as a more than adequate vehicle for the varying vocal deliveries of this album. “Conscience” makes prime use of the sing and shout dual-delivery tactic, but with a punch that doesn’t detract from one or the other. The cleaner vocals though have a slight amount of strain to them to keep them from sounding too polished, a bit of a compliment to the simple twang of the somewhat predictable acoustic number “The Bridge”. The vocal melodies shine strong on closer “On Summer” as well, soaring smoothly through the buzzing guitars and confident drumming. The gang-sung ending is perhaps not the strongest way to end the album, but it’s at least somewhat memorable considering what we hear from the beginning of the disc.
For a full-length debut, Pentimento shows more than enough promise to make me feel a little bummed for not picking up on them sooner. The songwriting is still a step or two from really clicking at all times, but for a band as early in their career as they are, it would be foolish to think they can’t continue to build on this momentum in future releases. The late arrival of this album is sure to intrude upon a fair share of prematurely made year end lists, leaving Pentimento as a favorite to truly make a name for themselves in 2013.