Pit Er Pat's latest album is new, entitled The Flexible Entertainer and not particularly easy to sum up in a catchy soundbite at the start of a review.
Pit Er Pat's thing has always been about the atmospherics, moods and textures of their sound and this record is no different. Written for live performance on tour in Europe and later laid down in the studio it is uncompromisingly angular. The sound picks up where Gang Gang Dance's Saint Dymphna and Telepath's Dance Mother left off, carving out a rhythm from non congruent sounds.
The difference is that there is no relief. There is no pay-off. Where Saint Dymphna blows a gasket under the pressure and album-highlight 'Vacuum' sweeps in like a desert oasis, spacious and forgiving to the tracks it follows, The Flexible Entertainer just keeps on piling it on. Where Gang Gang Dance make pop music with Tinchy Stryder on 'Princes' Pit Er Pat feel far too po-faced to play with what their music could be. There are hints of R'n'B in 'Water' and the first half of 'Emperor of Charms' shines but it isn't enough.
The Flexible Entertainer is a record that thinks it is far cleverer than it really is. Snapshots intrigue but sustained listening suffocates.
Download 'Water' by Pit Er Pat on MP3 [right click, save as].
The Flexible Entertainer is out on Thrill Jockey on Monday, it is available for pre-order now from Amazon.co.uk on CD [affiliate link].