Sound — 7
Being social media friends with a bunch of punks who play in a punk band from Buffalo, New York is a good feeling. Being able to listen to them and continue to be impressed as they create new songs is brag-worthy. Receiving their anticipated first album for free is shocking. Due to legal issues, Pentimento have decided to release their record for free. The main reason is stated by the band themselves, "We NEED you to hear this record." And I want you to hear this record. The album kicks off with "Unless". It is a punk song. This sets the mood for the rest of the album. Clean vocals mixed in with shouts are thrown on top of pounding drums and twisting guitar riffs. Any one of these elements will be found throughout each song on the album. "Circles" has a very catchy chorus with stop and go chords blasting the ears like a roller coaster. And while it is easy to be lost in the harmonized vocals resonating beautiful melodies, do not forget the drum fills progressing each movement safely into the next part of the song. Trying to decipher with words the complex sound that Pentimento achieve almost effortlessly is beyond difficult. This is not Black Flag, this is not Green Day, this is not the Dead Kennedys, this is quick paced songs with intricate chords winding verses up to explosive choruses. "The Wind" and "Days Away" is a perfect example of this structure. After a quick opening the middle section of the album is a tad softer with "The Bridge", "Almost Atlantic", and "Subtle Words". Subtle Words even has a lapsteel. A punk band with a lapsteel? Do listeners want violins too? Because it happens, and it works. The last two songs on the album are a perfect close and really embellish what this record creates. It is an atmosphere of harmony and safer places. The album flows very well. Certain songs may mesh together because of the same structure falling on song after song, but as am album the sound is fantastic.
Lyrics — 9
One thing I have always been considerate about is emotional impact of vocals and lyrics on an individual. Pentimento carries very reflective lyrics and often I am connecting lyrics to certain parts of my life. The human condition and trying to find that niche in life that is both comfortable and happy. Matching these lyrics are beautiful voices. Whether nearing a shout or in the middle range, one thing can be said, Pentimento knows how to match lyrics and vocals to a melody. Take the opening song, "Unless", a song with realization of mistakes. To perfectly show the dynamic lyrics/vocals mix check out "The Bridge" or "Subtle Words". Soft songs with gorgeous vocals and wonderfully crafted melodies.
Overall Impression — 9
Pentimento have released their debut LP under some unnatural circumstances. The album feels natural regardless. To give a band reference of similarity, I often say Pentimento reminds me of a less screamed version of Polar Bear Club. This is not a breakneck album full of earshattering screams. This is not a cryptic album decomposing what humanity has left to live off of. This is not a "safe" album for the critics. This is honesty. The one complaint I find myself with is that sometimes it is parts of songs that stand out rather than whole songs. The plus side to this is when I need to relinquish my craving to listen to that part and then listen to the whole song. "The tide rolls in, the tide rolls out." These parts are just build ups of the song ending with a catchy and memorable composition that resonates the listener and brings them back for more. Any music fan can enjoy this album. I am orientated to hardcore music but find enjoyment in this album. Country listeners have taken a listen and told me they really loved the album. The album can be downloaded for free at www.pentimentony.com.