Bottomless Pit – Congress

4 out of 5

Label: Comedy Minus One

Produced by: Bottomless Pit (?)

Bottomless Pit continue to evoke an atmosphere of mystery through the art direction, and curious “font” (unless this is some language or style I’m just not familiar with – entirely possible), while the music errs toward familiarity – swerving in and out of Silkwormisms, which isn’t a bad thing at all. But BP clearly want to be their own band, a sound they’re still trying to define, and Congress is a very focused version of doing that, with the A-side very Silkwormy – albeit with Tim Midyett using the slightly softened style of the band to explore more emotive lyrics and singing – and the B-side bringing in drummer Chris Manfrin’s Seam shoegaze influence a bit more, the band employing less riffs and more layering, sometimes to a slightly underwhelming effect (Pitch) and then also in an imperfect – but incredibly exciting – mashing-up of the styles (Angry Swan) that hints at how Bottomless Pit could / could’ve evolve/d.

The condensed hit of these approaches makes Congress an easy revisit: it’s more defined than the excellent Hammer of the Gods in some ways – the band, as Bottomless Pit, has more of its own identity – and less open-ended than the albums that were to come. Somewhere inbetween all of their albums lies (to me) a perfect one we’ve yet to get, but I’d use this EP as a good touchpoint for what that could look like.