Pentimento – “I, No Longer” Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

If Pentimento walked into my house I am pretty sure they would not need an introduction. One year I asked for one of their sweatshirts as a holiday gift and they sent my mom a note telling her how awesome she was. That is just how they are, they care about their fans. They’re a band that also creates music that sounds so familiar and friendly they help make anyone feel better. I’ve been a fan of the Buffalo quartet for about four years and four months and was beyond stoked to hear I, No Longer, their second full length to be released October 23rd.

There’s something about Pentimento‘s music that just puts me into tears every time I sit down and listen to them. The watery eyes are all from a fit of joy being able to believe and feel something from such a transparent band. It’s this brevity that finds such bitter comparable aspects to listeners lives, with lyrics being potent and driven by honest reflections. Even the way they discuss a small hand gesture can be filled with a plethora of feelings (‘My Solution Is In The Lake’). The ability for the band to weave urgent background vocals adds to the overall overwhelming wave of passion already put into the music. Every harmony, every drum beat mixed bright guitar notes is complimentary to each other, never drowning out another but instead being a whole wall of melodramatic music that puts you on the floor.

For people that know the band’s sound, I, No Longer actually finds Pentimento shedding a bit of their angst and raw pop-punk sound for reflective indie sections full of beautiful dynamics. The best example is a track like ‘Got My Answer;’ an expressive and introspective tune that almost barely breaks through a soft whisper until the closing chorus blows everything up with Jeremiah Pauly’s belts resonating across a pulsing musical section. ‘Gateway’ sounds straight out of the early 2000’s emo/punk scene, filled with a monotonous and moody voice carrying the song until desperation takes over in virulent background screams that just break your heart to hear. The band still cherishes their love for a poppy, catchy chorus such as instantly singable songs ‘Sink or Swim’ or ‘Stuck Forever.’ Can we talk about the lyrics for the former song, “so do I sink or swim, drowning in the what if’s and could have beens. I’m not good enough for myself let alone anyone else and that’s just the way it is.” Talk about what we all go through, right? A few songs on the back half of the album pick back up the beats per minute with ‘Slow But Sure’ and – one of my personal favorites on the entire LP – ‘No Matter What.’ The latter has an emotional connectivity of figuring out how to move on while facing the fact you’re fucking alone.

To be honest, one flaw I can see some people being stuck on is a bit of a lengthy less aggressive mid section for the album. These middle songs are less willing to show you their hands early, instead focusing on builds and emotionally distraught ends to each composition. ‘Tiger Eye’ has remnants of an early Pentimento sound (think Wrecked) that show this band is still the same ambitious group that just wants to show us their hearts; they’re not faking this. This is the music of the same four guys who have risked their entire wellness in every song to date, making sure their entire soul is put into each measure, helping us grow together.

In all honesty, I’ve been writing this review in a coffee shop between spouts of tears and larger than life smiles listening to this record on repeat. At one point I remember staring out the window listening to the closing number ‘Tell Me’ and smiling along with that damned piano melody creeping in the background. It’s the little things in life that make up the biggest fulfillment of happiness, and there’s no doubt these twelve songs that make up I, No Longer are a small group of things that will help me find that. For the record, I have been a fan of Pentimento for four years, four months and about thirty seven minutes. 

Score: 8.98/10