Pity Sex, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 18 May 2015
With ears still ringing from The Great Escape, the alt-rock/shoegaze/emo pairing of Pity Sex and Creepoid brings their individual brands of lo-fi noise to the heart of East London.
Bathed in red and blue light, the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen slowly fills as a hyper-slowed down version of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze plays over the PA. As it fades, a relatively young, mellow crowd shuffles into position as Philadelphia based quartet, Creepoid, take to the stage.
Consisting of married couple, Patrick and Anna Troxell, on bass/vocals and drums respectively, Sean Miller on guitar/vocals and Nick Kulp also on guitar, the band proceed to crank out 40 minutes of sludgy, yet lifting sound. Songs from their 2012 album, Horse Heaven, feel even fuller in the live setting, as Miller and Kulp twist and stretch the sound coming from their guitars in every direction using all manner of delay and loops. The Troxells held the fort in the rhythm section during the set, Patrick switching from crashing cymbals to soft beats intermittently, and Anna looking entirely lost in the music, without a care in the world.
A well-received hat tip to the late Ian Curtis on the anniversary of his death gets a round of applause from the crowd and new song American Smile proves that fans have plenty to look forward to when Creepoid’s new album, Cemetary Highrise Slum, drops in June; suggesting the band stand to further refine their grunge-laden sound.
Rounding off their set with a crushing rendition of Enabler, including a non-stop strobe light finale, the band are endearing for first-timers. Not only were they a perfect match for the headliners, but Creepoid appear genuine, with a real thirst for the music they produce.
After a short interval, the night’s headliners arrive, with the venue positively packed out all the way to the back. With no introduction necessary, Ann Arbor natives Pity Sex kick straight into Wind Up, the first track from their latest release, Feast of Love. Through no fault of their own, the overall sound of the set is slightly too muddy, a shame when trying to pick out the intricacies of Brennan Greaves’ guitar lines that separate a band like Pity Sex from the their peers. Despite this, the audience respond well, their heads nodding and bodies gyrating to the music like prawns finding their way through the ocean.
Working their debut EP, Dark World, into the setlist, the band continue with tracks like Coca Cola and Drawstring, with the vocal play between guitarist/vocalists Britty Drake and Brennan Greaves in full flow.
Three songs in, Drake noticed her Dad had showed up to surprise her on her first London show. Either he lives in London, or he’s a bloody great Dad. Either way, considering tonight is a total sell out, it’s not a bad gig for him to turn up to.
Though Pity Sex are fairly morose on record, live the songs have a great energy that you can’t help but get swept up in (See: Keep) and they come across as very affable people. This is reflected in the crowd’s respectfulness throughout the show.
Their set finishes off with a bass heavy pairing of Sedated and Drown Me Out, leading into Dogwalk, a track off the EP that sums up their sound thus far perfectly. Call these bands what you will genre wise, the energy given off at this show proves that this is more than any sort of revival movement; they’re here to stay.
Keep up to date with Pity Sex’s UK tour dates at Ticketmaster.co.uk.