Petal - Shame (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Shame (2015)

Run For Cover

 Pennsylvania's Kiley Lotz has taken her indie-rock project, Petal, quite a way since 2012. Scout was an EP that yielded a lot of promise despite being recorded by Lotz in her garage. There was something raw to it, made even better by a revolving door of musicians coming in and out on what seemed experimental for her at the time. On Shame, she finds kindred spirits in Tigers Jaw’s Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh, and make no mistake, the record pans out like a Tigers Jaw side-project. Not a bad thing if you ask me. It isn't groundbreaking but it's still a very pleasant act on said promise. Shame feels more about personal stories and relationships as opposed to her Scranton stomping grounds and it's more welcomed insight into Lotz's world. 

It varies its pace - from lighthearted to heavy and melancholy at times but Shame is definitely heart-on-sleeve and very genuine. It's steeped in indie-rock but you get moments of subtle punk and grunge creeping up here and there. Mostly though, it's all about wispy slow burns with Lotz and Collins' vocals adding deep layers of vulnerability. "Camera Lens" is a fine example of this. The lyrics, as they are throughout are very strong a la Hop Along's Frances Quinlan, however, here they're delivered much more softly. Make no mistake though, for every contemplative word sung, it's still quite powerful. "Heaven" nods to Dolores O'Riordan a bit with "Feel" shifting into an acoustic setting a la Derek Archambault (Defeater). There's a nice balance between paying homage to older genres and then shifting to more contemporary storytelling. Amid the gentle and sincere strumming on the latter, you really sense the outpouring of emotion. Wistful, charming and as cliched as it gets, Shame hit the right notes. And again, it's definitely gonna stick if you're a Tigers Jaw fan...