When you first start getting into music, finding bands that change your entire outlook on life is easy. You’ve never heard anybody before, so every album that speaks to you is this earth-shattering revelation. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last. You get jaded and bored; eventually, bands start running together in your head and sometimes you forget why you fell in love with the scene in the first place. Then you hear a band like Pentimento, and you remember.
Last year, Pentimento gave away their self-titled record for free on Bandcamp, and I downloaded it because I’d heard somewhere it was good. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a lot. I didn’t even listen to the record at first. When I did...oh, man. Every song hit home in ways I hadn’t been hit since the first punk show I ever went to. Instantly, I’d found a new favorite band.
The Buffalo, NY quartet’s newest EP, Inside the Sea, is four tracks of heartfelt punk rock that’s mature enough for the twenty-something audience, but full of angst and as aggressive as the bands we all loved when we were teenagers.
“Not So Young” opens the four-track EP with a poignant sentiment on growing up and nostalgia: "It's bringing me back to when I was young, but not so young that I couldn't sort my feelings out / The kind of young where I thought I was friends with everyone." The song’s powerful chorus compliments this line by asking (almost violently), “Is this all I am? Is this everything that I am meant to be?”
The second track, “Just Friends,” picks up right where “Not So Young” leaves off; musically, this song – and the whole EP – doesn’t do anything drastically different than the band’s 2012 release. Instead of beginning to feel stale, though, everything seems to just get better as it ages. Inside the Sea is just as engaging as the self-titled record, if not more so due to its short and to-the-point lyrics.
Closing out the EP, “Any Minute Now” and “It’s Okay” give closure to the emotions evoked during the first half of Inside the Sea and leave you in a state of catharsis. The repeated line "Any minute now / Any minute now / Things are gonna change," sticks with you for hours after hearing the song. When the final notes end, everything feels a lot more manageable, and that is something that I haven’t felt from a record since the first time I heard Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing.
Even if you’re skeptical of pop punk – which, honestly, is understandable – this EP (and band) deserves a chance. The music is genuine and the talent is there to back it up. Well done, Pentimento, well done.