Lemon Pitch – ‘Flat Black Sea’ album review

Lemon Pitch Flat Black Sea

With three singer-songwriters (Brock Ginther, Alex Merrill and Galen Richmond) and a long-time love of the indie-rock scene, Portland, Maine band Lemon Pitch are all set to release debut album ‘Flat Black Sea’ on 27 March. Recorded as live, the band describe their sound as ‘lyrically dense noisy pop’.

Three and a half minutes of woozy grunge pop opens the record in the shape of ‘Flat Black Sea’. Coming across like The Beatles with a grungey makeover, the song has talk of cell phone towers and ‘a special kind of useless’ before the band chant ‘it’s turning out to be a problem’. ‘Soft Two’s’ is next up with observations on being born ‘under a mediocre sign’ and growing up through a ‘vanilla infancy. This piece of fuzz-pop also references Steely Dan with a knowing nod. After this, ‘Band that Wears Hats’ is short, shouty, spiky and sharp: ‘All of us are waiting for the kind of band that wears hats’; ‘I want to see them succeed’.

‘Arrowheads’ has more of a traditional rock sound that reminded us of The Hold Steady – killer hooks, big bass lines and personal, poetic lyrics: ‘When the winter comes, I can’t heat this house so well’. Recent single ‘More Bad News’ follows with Petty-esque riffs, harmonies and passionately delivered words filled with pain: ‘Miss you, I’ll miss you when you’re gone, more bad news’. The album takes the album into a slower and more atmospheric place, albeit with an unsettling subject matter: ‘I don’t think I’ve seen him leave and he’s watching all the time, making notes of what you receive’. This is followed by a Disq-style mix of clattering drums and ‘ba, ba, ba’ singalongs.

We hear elements of The Replacements or Beach Slang in the power pop of ‘Airtight’ (‘The boys are making their noise’) while ‘Dental Work’ has crystal clear guitar hooks from its opening seconds with its observations on how tasty – and bad for your health – sweet food including candy floss and liquorice is for you. The closing ‘God’s Teeth’ is three minutes and twenty seconds of zesty and melodic indie with a fine folky feel. Lemon Pitch’s debut record is anything but flat…

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