New Music Review: Petal

By Spenser Webb, Entertainment Writer 

American rock band Petal recently released their first studio album “Shame”. The twelve-track album is Petal’s first full-length release following a short EP “Scout” in 2013. The time between releases is unsurprising and relatively short considering Petal consists of only one permanent member, Kiley Lotz. Despite this independence, when touring Lotz is supported by members of other bands such as Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw, members of “Captain, We’re Sinking,” Halfling, and other acts.

Like many solo or semi-solo acts, Petal produces a somewhat simplistic sound. The riffs are rarely complex (though not unappealing) and are backed by relatively simple drum work. Where Petal really shines though is through Lotz’s soft and alluring vocals. Lyrically the themes are rarely in depth at first, but the overall sound of “Shame” comes together quite nicely. I would have liked to see some greater production value as Lotz’s voice has a tendency to get drowned out by the musical background; however it’s not bad at all for a first release from a smaller act.

Shame” produces a relatively consistent sound, however that’s not to say that there aren’t a few standouts. A personal favorite is “Heaven”, a melodic love song that builds to a rising climax and falls into a relaxing conclusion.  Again the song is carried mostly by Lotz’s vocal work. The track is relatively simple and straightforward but leaves the listener with a pleasant afterglow upon hearing it. Immediately after is “Heaven is Chandelier Theif”, a somewhat somber and slower song. The lyrics come off a bit muddled and the chorus is a tad repetitive but the track comes together in all its parts almost perfectly. Finally  on my list is a more straightforward rock song, “Sooner”, which features a relatively heavy intro and chorus for Petal, while still maintaining a soft vibe as the lyrics plead for an unnamed companion to stay as long as possible with lyrics like, “please don’t leave sooner than you have to.”

Overall, “Shame” is a very solid first release from Petal and I highly recommend you listen to the album if you are at all a fan of soft rock. At times Lotz’s work invokes a sound reminiscent of the Cranberries or other mid 90’s rockers with a somewhat more relaxed tone. Petal’s “Shame” is a very relaxing album to listen to with deeper themes present for those who delve deeper into the lyrics.