Label: Paper + Plastick
I found the boys in Pentimento shortly after my arrival at UTG last February. What struck me was that these dudes’ had the same sense of humor as me, so coupled with their cool sound I really started to dig them. Admittedly, they weren’t one of those bands that really hit it out of the park for me, but I enjoyed their music. It was catchy and relatively intense lyrically, so it’s something I could back. I’ve had conversations on them with twitter and other internet outlets, and while most conversations end with some form of “kiss me on the face” or “hug me naked,” I’ve gathered Pentimento really take what they’re doing seriously. Pentimento released the song “Circles” as their first single, and I was immediately blown away by what they created in both song and in their video, so I’ve been really excited to review this their debut self-titled full length. I like to keep records spinning for a few weeks before reviewing them because frankly I think to truly understand what you think of a record, you need to listen to it at all different times. Pentimento’s self-titled is one of the surprise releases of the year, truly stepping up their game in both musicianship and lyricism.
For a band that is extremely profane in the best ways on the Internet, Pentimento really knows how to hit you emotionally. Their songs are sweeping, big and really create an atmosphere that you can get lost in. Some call them a Hot Water Music cover band, and while I understand where people may be coming from there, I really think they are their own unique sound. They do a really great mix of punk, emo, and rock, and it’s apparent that the band loves all of these different genres through the way they mold them all together into one coherent sound. I mentioned “Circles” earlier, but the guitar work on “Circles” is one of the catchiest of the year. It’s bouncy, it’s ominous, it’s kind of everything I love about this genre of punk. The new acoustic version of “The Bridge,” while it’s not new, I love the way it sounds. Don’t know if it offers more than being a bonus track, but I still enjoy it all the same (I’ve never been too swayed by the idea of rereleasing songs on a full-length). Also that string section on “Subtle Words” is so beautiful it brought the tough guy in me back to the ground. This album is there to keep you company when you’re not in a great mood, but also not in a “I want to listen to ‘Devil and God are Raging Inside Me’ so I hate myself” mood. Pentimento’s self titled has its fair share of inner turmoil and weight, but they also make sure to have hopeful punk guitars and fast drums to make sure you don’t fall into a deep depression or sleep.
I’ve never been afraid to tell people that lyrics are really what make or break a record for me. I listen to enough music where musicianship can really stand out to me, but it’s fresh and beautiful lyrics that really capture me. Pentimento really moved me with this record. My favorite song lyrically (and probably just overall) is EASILY “Conscience (Consequence).” The refrain “I can’t face death like this forever,” rings in my head every single time I listen to this record. The lyrics are simple, but in the context of the song it fits so perfectly in contrast to the rest of the song. “Almost Atlantic” swells like the waves it is describing, and the lyrics mimic the rising action of the song.
Pentimento is one of those bands that will stick around for a really long time. They continuously improve on their releases, and they are great men to boot. I’m not just saying this from the sporadic conversations we’ve had on Twitter. You can really tell the band cares about their fans and loves to interact with them, and I really think this will take them a long way on top of a beautiful debut full-length release. Time will tell if this record will stick with new fans and old, but I honestly believe it will. Pentimento created a memorable release that is constructed with the utmost care, and it really shows through the way the album ebbs and flows from front to back.
Written By: Tyler Osborne