Petal – “Shame” Review

Posted: by Alex

It would really be a Shame not to talk about Petal. The band, a rotating cast of members behind the constant Kiley Lotz, recorded their debut record Shame earlier this year with Will Yip and a band consisting of Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw fame. Many of the songs on the record have been live acoustic staples for some time, but the addition of a full band sound breathes new life into the blossoming band.

The record begins on “Camera Lens” with a solid drum beat reminiscent of tracks by Into It. Over It., with Lotz’s soothing voice overtop. The song refrains later in the record as “Camera Lens II”, a more upbeat version of the same lyrics, where Lotz is “unable to move/unable to speak/unable to breathe.” The record then transitions into the live-staple “Tommy,” an anxiety riddled anthem accompanied by a driving force of guitar that calls to mind many mid-tempo Jimmy Eat World tracks.

While the record thrives on many of these middle or up tempo tracks, the band often strays from this to attempt something completely out of the ordinary. The best example of this is on the album highlight, “Nature,” an unconventional track consisting of Lotz’s emotional vocals over a simple and constant drum beat. The pounding drum accompanying Lotz singing “I want to be made out of the nature you were born from” creates a surreal emotional experience that is hard to come by in even the most seasoned of musicians.

Petal’s strongest point is the emotion Lotz conveys through her lyricism, often combining themes of love and anxiety to capture a purely honest feeling, shown in tracks like “Photobooth” where she sings “I guess what I mean is that if I could/pick out all the parts of my brain/I would leave the place where you made your home,” or on “Sooner” where she sings the simple but powerful line “please don’t leave sooner than you have to.”

Overall, Shame is an incredibly unique album. While musically it often feels familiar, it strays from the beaten path in entirely unexpected ways while Lotz soulfully expresses her thoughts, fears, and anxieties in entirely understandable ways. Anxiety is an extraordinarily difficult emotion to capture in words, but Lotz does so with an ease that makes anxiety seem just a little bit easier to handle.

Score: 9/10

For Fans Of: The Cranberries, Into It Over It, Jimmy Eat World

You can buy the record digitally on iTunes or Bandcamp, listen on your local steaming service such as Apple Music or Spotify, or get a copy on vinyl cassette, or CD from Run For Cover Records.