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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Review: Pretty Girls Make Graves - Good Health & The New Romance cds

I can't say enough good things about Seattle, WA's Pretty Girls Make Graves. Nobody can place their sound and influences with any certainty (Sleater-Kinney fits best) because what they do is original enough to be, well, original. They're a band for headphones and a riveted attention. The best compliment I can give to their music is that they're abso-fugg-lutely fascinating.

The tempos change and the instruments interplay and go off on their own at will, yet there's never a false step or confusing turn. The only other band I know of that operates at this level is Leatherface, who could only dream of having the same flawless production values. Good Health and The New Romance are beautifully recorded with no one element given priority. The test on this is to focus on one instrument and see if it comes across clearly and in proportion.

The songs are driven by Nick DeWitt's drumming, which doesn't overwhelm or take the easy way out. The two lead guitars play cat and mouse and fly out in minimalist tangents. The bass pounds like mad and the electric keyboard adds both a wall of sound and eccentric flourishes. Andrea Zollo's voice has great personality and range, delivering melodic screams easier on the ear than The Distillers.

Maybe this is progressive hardcore. The second album is more reserved but both are winners with no weak track in the bunch. Like my "pal" Joe Bob Briggs says, "Check it out".


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