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ATP! Album Review: Pentimento - S/T

Pentimento may have only been on the march for two years, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from their music. The band approaches punk at a very stripped-back level, harking back to the roots of bands like Hot Water Music, Brand New and Jimmy Eat World, but there are elements of early Alkaline Trio and Thrice rearing their heads as well. It’s tempting to think that Pentimento is a love letter to punk music, but that would be too narrow a definition of a band that have expanded on the music they love and moulded it into a shape they know they would want to hear.

This self-titled album plays along with the greatest hits of a genre, with fast and brutal title track ‘Unless’ moving into the slower and almost melancholic ‘Circles’, which, despite the pace change, turns out to be an album highlight, sporting the same gang backing that impressed a world of music fans coming from Aficionado recently.

Most of the tracks bring with them a certain nostalgia, but they’re not carbon copies of their inspirations. They are new flavours of older ideas, fresh takes on an already established standard. Despite this, the breaks from this formula are welcome on the record, and the acoustic track ‘The Bridge’ is good enough by itself to stand alone against many of the acoustic songs that have climbed the chart-topping ladder in recent years. Along these lines also is ‘Subtle Words’ - a beautiful string-infested folk ode to a changed relationship that evolves into an epic climax combining raw punk with a healthy dose of violins, coming across as what a Yellowcard/Thrice super group might sound like.

There is undeniable talent here as well, the guitars come out in full force on penultimate track ‘For Winter’ and string together what is arguably the most powerful almost-three minutes on the album: a barrage of riffs, melody, rage and longing with a healthy side of drum fills.

There is a promising mixture of inspiration and innovation on this album, and though the former tends to generally outshine the latter, the moments where Pentimento truly come into their own really stand out and make the record really worth a listen or five.


Edward Strickson

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