The Pacific Northwest is known for its grunge and punk scenes. The Washington based band, So Pitted, is an almost perfect example of why. Dark and dirty, heavy and awe-inspiring, So Pitted plays some crazy songs with enough distortion to leave you all warm and fuzzy inside. If you’re not familiar with the band, their latest album, Neo, being release on Sub Pop records is a great first impression.
Neo is like eating your own earwax. The sound is dirty and grungy –fucking scummy and it’s all tasty. The distortion just clings to you from the beginning forming a solid soundscape. It’s clear that So Pitted put in a great deal of effort –creating highly textural, percussive driven, noise-grunge. Each piece of the band really stands out. The vocals deliver a hardcore punk sound, the guitar often leads a grungy melody, and the percussion ignites
One of the first tracks of the album, “Pay Attention To Me,” is dark, ominous with some post-punk esque, deeply sung melodies. It’s really a great introduction to Neo, it’s a welcome mat that walks all over you. Later on, “Holding The Void,” stands out as a fairly powerful track amongst Neo’s repertoire. It’s a far faster, more distorted jam. It features some insane guitar playing –a screeching madness. There’s some metal influence, some industrial influence –it’s a great song.
Unfortunately the album does hold several devastating flaws as much as it does great songs. First off, there’s not much variety and there’s not any real blockbusters here. The entire album sounds great –and it all sounds the same. The songs rarely introduce anything new. Worse off, since the songs are so consistent sounding that they lose their charm early on. You never really get the idea that what you’re listening to is some sort of spectacular show –it’s just ‘generic catchy hardcore angry punk song #2781’. Still, writing Neo off as just another angry, grungy punk album wouldn’t be doing justice to So Pitted. Sure, that’s their thing –it’s big in the Pacific Northwest! But really, the band is special.
If you find your way past the less enjoyable grime and instead embrace the grungy goodness, there’s something there worth listening to. Neo really is a great listen. The magic shows in the way it all comes together. The guitars, the drums, the vocals, all the effects –they build on each other and set the mood right. They capitalize on atmosphere and it all makes for an incredible distorted experience.
So Pitted’s Neo is a solid punk release. It’s heavy, it’s grungy, it’s dark, and it’s dirty. Sadly, it’s also kind of like trying to eat the remnants of a scone –there’s just never enough of to leave you satisfied. Regardless, Neo is a very noisy and very enjoyable listen. Even if it’s not perfect, So Pitted will surely win you over.