Sound the alarm. The frenetic music of this melty duo drives adrenalin levels through the roof, perhaps even inducing paranoia. Listening to The Pity Party feels like racing through a Parisian corridor while chased by armed avengers and angry rhinoceri, or like being trapped in a stairwell 72 stories up during a natural disaster. Your senses will stand on edge: sounds warp and wrap around you; colors pop – all perception is heightened. Your heart may jump into your throat as you tilt on a razor-like edge while the swell of beats skyrockets.
There’s no sense in struggling against this fight-or-flight response. It’s physiological. Even spiritual, as The Pity Party suggests.
When The Pity Party came into the studio, their tornado plunked down, quietly set up the eye of their storm, and raged wildly from start to finish. Then they were done. They picked up and lifted off. Just like that.
As with the impact of a heavy storm, we knew it was big when it hit (the band in our studio) and we’re still reeling as we assess the aftereffects.
Contrary to the usual headphone/vocal mix preference, the Pity Party’s M, singer and guitarist, asked more than once, “Can I get less of me? I normally like my vocals way down…”. He’s quiet and genial. And he rips with fierce tones and grinding effects, deadly when plugged in.
She’s a force of nature, an exception to any insurance policy, I’m sure. Heisenflei rages on drums (slamming our borrowed, cracked cymbal with such intensity I was sincerely afraid it would fly off and decapitate her partner several times during their session). Dressed in a turquoise shorts-jumpsuit and topped with a flowing mane of thick red curls, Heis’ pale thigh is mottled black-and-blue from repetitive drumstick rapping. She does it all, playing keyboard and singing eerily, breathily and hauntingly like Portishead’s Beth Gibbons.
While M tightens the vice and turns up the heat, steadily building a foundation of anxiety and engagement, Heis lets off steam in controlled bursts, narrowly averting a full-blown messy eruption.
The Pity Party’s music is drenched in striking resemblences to Broadcast, Blonde Redhead and Autolux with ominous underlying Nine Inch Nails grooves. To be sure, they absolutely rule their own domain, blasting out heavenly transmissions.
At once, their searing riffs gouge deep and sizzlingly cauterize, rife with sideways socially conscious lyrics: “I’m far too comfortable to care”, “Go on, ’cause you can’t stop”, “I’m never naked even when I’m undressed.”
With a smart eye for marketing, economy and the environment, The Pity Party makes their stuff from recycled materials. Their CD covers are recycled ClearChannel billboard vinyl. This is hopeful on a larger scale – even big ugly monsters can be rebirthed in a form of artistic beauty.
Giving yourself to the experience of The Pity Party is way more daring than a Greyhound bus drive or a trip to Mount Kilahuea.
Go, listen and let yourself go. (option/click to download)
The Pity Party on Myspace.