Audio Mixer: Dylan Wall.
Recording information: Spruce Haus; Tastefully Loud; The Old Fire House Media Lab; The So Pitted Practice Space.
Photographer: Nathan Rodriguez.
The debut LP from Seattle-based noise-rock/slacker-punk trio So Pitted, who gleaned their name from a popular YouTube video that featured a surfer uttering the phrase after a particularly gnarly ride, could only have arrived via Sub Pop. Neo's adherence to the sonic might of bands like Tad, Mudhoney, early Jesus and Mary Chain, and pre-Nevermind Nirvana (toss back a shot of Pigface for good measure while you're at it) speaks to the label's more punk-minded heyday. Like their closest sonic contemporaries, the similarly discontent and decibel-hungry Pissed Jeans, So Pitted revel in the primal uneasiness of youth, alternating between Stooges-esque cocksureness ("Cat Scratch") and unfiltered twentysomething despair ("Pay Attention to Me") without ever letting the needle drop below maximum volume. Honestly, there's little here that isn't relentlessly punishing, so much so that whatever anarchic goodwill is established early on is a tad diluted by the album's end. Melodically obtuse, though willfully so, songs like "No Nuke Country" and "Rot in Hell," the former a hallucinogenic blast of snarky, lo-fi post-hardcore and the latter a vaguely Pixies-esque blast of nastiness with a distinctly '90s alt-rock center, can often feel cobbled together from the detritus of their myriad (and often glaringly obvious) influences, but they're delivered with the kind of raw, unadulterated vitriol that can only come from a group that's as hungry as it is broken. At its best, Neo transcends redundancy with raw power, but it remains to be seen whether or not the band can find their own voice amid the maelstrom. ~ James Christopher Monger