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Record Reviews

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PRETTY BULLSHIT / WARM NEEDLES:
The Same Shit Everyday: 7”
I’m not altogether sure this thing is actually titled The Same Shit Everyday. It’s what the TV on the cover of the record says. It might just be a self-titled split release, and the TV’s just making a depressing point to go with the drawing of the dude hangin’ himself. I dunno. Pretty Bullshit: They either misspell “pores” in the lyric sheet or they’re bartenders and are being really clever. Sound-wise they sound like a second orthird tier punk band from 1980. Could use more melody / rage / something, but you’ll forgive it because they’re from way back when and were influential and original. Except they aren’t. Probably good live but I don’t see their side getting repeat spins. Warm Needles: Stupid band name. Depressing lyrics that are at least somewhat about drugs. Kinda reminiscent of Tim Version or similarly gruff but melodic bands. Shit, this is pretty solidly catchy. Definitely wouldn’t mind hearing more from Warm Needles. –Ryan Horky (Dig My Grave, digmygraverecords.bandcamp.com)


PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES:
Elan Vital: CD
Simply put, this album is fucking incredible. Soaring, scorching, female vocals over layers of aggressive, intricate guitars and keyboards. These songs are experimental enough to fascinate, and yet there are also pop hooks so catchy I felt like I’d been hearing them for years. The vocals are truly the high point of the album as they waver between celebration and desperation. Rather than making an album where everything sounds the same, PGMG have created one where each song is distinctive and enthralling. This album avoids being derivative but it isn’t so bizarre as to be alienating either. I recommend listening to it on large headphones while you wander city streets and watch the seasons change. –Jennifer Whiteford (Matador)


PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES:
Good Health: CD
I like this. It’s got that frenetic, about-to-pop-but-don’t-worry-everything’s-under-control feel of At the Drive-In. It’s complex but not confusing. They don’t forget to always propel their songs forward to keep the ass a-wigglin’ and the heads a-bobbin’. It’s also good because they don’t shy away from the occasional tantrum and use a synthesizer in a way that doesn’t suck scrote. The guitars scream down from far away mountains and tackle each other, like head-butting rams. Solid, exciting, repeated thuds. All the songs topple and spin and shoot around constantly like a perfect play on a really good pinball game (like Monster Mash). The female-fronted vocals add to the texture, watershed the harmonies, and then sprays them back out so the album seems to be dripping all around you like a fine mist when it’s on the stereo, permeating everything it touches. Exciting stuff. For what it’s worth, the bassist used to be in the Murder City Devils. Sounds nothing like ‘em. –Todd Taylor (Lookout)


PRETTY GIRLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
I thought I was going to hate this when I picked it up, I mean c’mon there’s guys smellin’ flowers on the back! I really like it in doses though. It’s pretty much straightforward Brit pop (even though they’re out of Sacramento.) Heavily reminiscent of Supergrass’ I Should Coco. Definitely worth a listen for fans of Pulp and Blur and such. –Megan Pants (Trap Door)


PRETTY GIRLS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
I thought I was going to hate this when I picked it up, I mean c’mon there’s guys smellin’ flowers on the back! I really like it in doses though. It’s pretty much straightforward Brit pop (even though they’re out of Sacramento.) Heavily reminiscent of Supergrass’ I Should Coco. Definitely worth a listen for fans of Pulp and Blur and such.
–Megan Pants (Trap Door)


PRETTY PRETTY:
Demo: Cassette

Pretty Pretty is a garage punk band with dual male/female vocals. There’s a very fuzzed-out vibe going on with this demo. At first I wanted the sound to be a bit crisper, but it grew on me. The jangly riffs they play are fun, having an almost relaxed and meandering quality to them, like going for a walk on a nice, sunny day. Toss this in your cassette player on the way to work, or while sitting around the house, and you’re sure to have a better day because of it.

–Paul J. Comeau (Let’s Pretend, prettyprettyrock@gmail.com)


PRETTY PRETTY:
Self-titled: Cassette
You must’ve heard the trash talk about cassette tapes and their mounting comeback. Detractors say that cassettes are a needless fad, retro for the sake of it, blah, blah, blah. To these naysayers, I offer exhibits A and B: my 1997 Honda Accord (Rhonda, if you’re nasty), and this self-titled demo by Pretty Pretty. This is a band that knows its demographic: cats who still have tape decks in their cars. Seriously, when was the last time you got a new cassette, slit the plastic wrap with a fingernail, and threw a fresh-smelling new tape directly into your car stereo? I’m guessing the last time for me was 1991, at the latest, before I started buying predominantly CDs. So, thanks to the band and their label for reminding me of being a teenager, both in terms of the cassette itself and the music on it: Pretty Pretty, a three-piece, bashes away with gleeful aplomb, stuffing hooks aplenty into their raw but inviting mostly gal-fronted garage pop bashers. The band doesn’t dwell too much on themselves, their gear, or their delivery. Instead, they bring home zee bacon without a care in the world save for the songs themselves, which has gotta be at least as retro—and as righteous—as a cassette, right?  –Michael T. Fournier (Let’s Pretend)


PRETTY VANILLA:
7 Inches Deep: 7”
I watched a video at Pretty Vanilla’s MySpace page, and while it was a shitty recording they sounded kind of loud and a little rough around the edges. And I could dig that even if I wasn’t totally down with their glam meets early hair metal look. But the music on the seven inch is so polished it’s boring. Some of the songs sound like they should have been featured on Happy Days. The vocals are high pitched and kind of reminded me of Superchunk in that sense that you might go a long time thinking that the vocalist is a woman only to find out sometime later that it’s actually a dude. Their song “Paper Tiger” had a nice, muddy-sounding guitar solo that started to show what I heard on the video. But that little part was the only sign of hope I heard on this otherwise poor 1960s throwback. My suggestion: look into recording more lo-fi or analog, get a little dirtier, fuzzier sound on the guitar and lose the cheesy backup vocals. If I want to listen to stuff like you’re playing, I’ll go rent a copy of Back to the Future. –Kurt Morris (prettyvanilla.com)


PRETTY WHORES:
Teens of USA: CD
Admittedly, upon looking at this and seeing the name, I assumed I’d hate it (judging from the name and packaging, figuring it was some Warped Tour “I hate my girlfriend, ergo all girls” emo/punk pop). But after listening to it, it kind of sounds like a pop punk band trying to sound like The Hives. It’s not bad, though if they tried to sound like Henry Fiat’s Open Sore, then they’d really be on to something. –Joe Evans III (Self-released, myspace.com/prettywhores)


PRETTY WHORES OF MANHATTAN:
Self-titled: CD
Off-kilter rock/punk colliding with a borderline arty aesthetic. Was much better than their name would suggest.  –Jimmy Alvarado (pretty.whores.of.manhattan@hotmail.com)


PRETTYBOY THORSON & THE FALLING ANGELS:
Ain't It Funny: CD
This is that drunken kind of pop punk that was made famous in the Bay Area. It’s all about breaking up with girls and drinking about it, along with a few references to punk activities like being broke and sleeping on couches. This is the kind of band that every town has one of and they always have a huge local following. They’re a good band. Hell, if I were to start my first band, it might sound like this and hopefully we’d be good too. But, for me personally, in this over-accelerated, over-stimulated culture, I don’t get into bands on the basis of them being good, but on whether they stand out or not. Unfortunately, this band doesn’t do that for me. –Craven (ADD)


PRETTYBOY THORSON AND THE FALLING ANGELS:
Ain’t It Funny: CD
My aversion to rockabilly has cemented over time. There seem to be two main categories that bands self-put themselves. 1.) Skinhead Retirement Program. Rebellion from a different era, endless shit to buy, and a “little lady by my side.” The music’s another accessory. 2.) Ookie-spooky graveyards and/or zombies and/or being crazy with standup bass and pomade. Sure, I’m over-generalizing, and Rock’n’Roll Purgatory’s got their finger on the pulse of great rockabilly currently being released if you’re interested in bands beyond the gloss, sheen, and surfing of stand up basses. Enter PTATFA. It was bound to happen—actually, it already did with The Staggers (well worth checking out) and the Beltones—DIY punk rockers bring in their self-loathing, funny song titles (“The Best Part About Getting Dumped Is You Get to Write a Power Ballad”), and gritty energy in and blow the barn doors off of the play-acting hootenanny. Their music’s clear, instantly hummable, and beefy; I’d love to see them on a bill with The Pine Hill Haints or Almighty Do Me A Favor. –Todd Taylor (ADD)


PRETTYBOY THORSON AND THE F’N A’S:
Take It Easy: CD
This CD has secret glue, and I don’t know what it is. First couple of listens, eh. Reminded me of The Staggers: a band that could easily switch from campfire to barroom without losing power, who (I’m totally guessing), respect the Misfits as much as Johnny Cash equally. But then I kept going back to the record. It tells stories. It has beats I tap along to. I saw them live a couple of times, and Dan, the lead singer, is a big dude who makes his acoustic guitar look like a ukulele and he sings his goddamn heart out. What more are we asking for in music? Nothing. Take It Easy is like a pair of work pants. At first, it seemed a little stiff and off-the-pile, yet gets smoothed out and more comfortable with more usage. Recommended. –Todd Taylor (ADD)


PREVAIL WITHIN:
The Architects of Broken Souls: CD
Self described as in “the same bloodline as Bad Religion, Propagandhi, and Rise Against.” Besides Bad Religion, that pretty much sums it up for me. Leaning more towards Rise Against than Propagandhi. –Donofthedead (Mightier Than Sword)


PREVAIL WITHIN / SMARTBOMB:
Split: 7”
Yummy-looking blue/green/yellow splattered clear vinyl holds fast, scream-the-lyrics-with-your-arm-around-your-buddy punk. The earnest unity of our scene lives on here, unmarred by scenester cynicism. –Susan Chung (Mightier Than Sword)


PREVAIL WITHIN/SMARTBOMB:
Split: 7”
Prevail Within: The leading hardcore political punk force out of San Antonio, TX. I will admit that I’m biased in their favor due to the fact that they helped my first band start out. These songs answer the questions that their full length presented. Mainly, can these guys play a song in less than four minutes? Yes they can, and it’s awesome. Smartbomb: Features members of No Trigger and Shock Nagasaki. They’re also politically charged, but more skate punk than hardcore. Musically, they remind me a little of Satanic Surfers with lyrics that don’t seem to have any sort of beat or measure. Recommended for the thirteen-year-old skater who thinks The Casualties have good political lyrics. All copies on clear vinyl with puke colored splatter. – –Guest Contributor (Mightier Than Sword)


PREVENGE / DIG IT UP:
Split: 7”
Prevenge: Gruff, D4-ish punk from Canada. “Buried Alive” is the jam on this side. Ultimately, there’s nothing to really set these dudes apart from the legion of folks rockin’ this style but they’re totally solid in what they do. Dig It Up: Kinda more hardcorish, with guitar solos and pretty rad hollerin’ vocals. Bet they’d be fun live. My only complaint with them is the songs seem to drag on a little long. The cover art for this 7” looks great and the booklet is really well done, too. Apparently, there’s a limited amount on white vinyl, but folks’ve probably already snatched those bad boys up. –Ryan Horky (Pavones, pavonesrecords.bandcamp.com)


PREVENGE / SHARED ARMS:
: Split 7”
Prevenge: Shouty not-quite-hardcore punk rock. I feel like I’ve heard these songs before with different names. Kind of reminds me of the punk bands Fat Wreck was signing in the mid-2000s, like The Sainte Catherines and the heavier bits of Smoke Or Fire. Could use some more variety, but good songwriting nonetheless. Shared Arms: Emo-tinged skate punk. The singer almost sounds like Jason Shevchuk which is cool, but I wish the song was as short as a Kid Dynamite one. Even if its length is longer than my personal preference, it does justify itself with motions of the music—changing paces and feel just enough times to move in all the right ways. Good stuff. –Bryan Static (Pavones, pavonesrecords.tumblr.com / Tragicomedy, tragicomedyrecords.com / Guerilla, guerilla-asso.com / Struggletown / Juice Box)


PREYING HANDS:
Through the Dark: CD
This Montreal band sounds like Annie from This Is My Fist singing for Strike Anywhere. Those two flavors go together like chicken and waffles. Annie, if you’re reading this, I just called you a waffle. You’re a waffle! Preying Hands’ singer is a woman with a scratchy voice who manages to make lyrics like “They breed their hate/The bloodthirsty citizenry, hiding behind birthright” come out catchy. The music is gritty, fast, and catchy; a mix of ‘90s skate punk and posi-core with metal leads. My one gripe is that they never tinker with the formula, and the songs blend together a few tracks in, but I’ve still played this CD three times today. More waffles, please! –CT Terry (Inimical)


PRICEDUIFKES:
She Spells Disaster: CD
My only question of note with this record is how the band’s name should be pronounced. Should it be [prais·du·If’·kiz]? (As in price-doo-if-keys, since I’m being so smug and pretentious as to use the IPA.) And on what syllable should the stress fall? The complaint of note with this record is that it’s only eight songs long, including an intro to the record, so it was over far too quickly. Heavy, oppressive disappoint sets in for me every time this record ends because I feel cheated and gypped that such wondrous aural stylings have concluded so quickly. I loved this thing. Evil geniuses, the Priceduifkes are, to keep me slobbering for more tunes like a boozehound who has to stop drinking after the first beer. Their sound is awesome Queers-esque punk, and sounds even more juvenile, which I did not at first think would be possible. Their MySpace page claims Ramones and Nobodys influences—it shows—and they are self-described as “pingpongpornopussypunk.” When subject to overly intense scrutiny, this record may seem to be a bit lyrically clichéd at times, but that did not bother me a bit since it sounded more classic than cliché (thank you, Mr. Spaghetti). This is one of those few slabs that, for me, is fun to listen to every single second that it’s playing. I’m a fan. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Skintight, skintightrecords.com)


PRICEDUIFKES, THE:
Can’t Lose: CD
More of the loud, grittier pop punk that’s become quite popular here, as well as in Europe (where this band is from). It’s like if Dear Landlord stayed closer to a mid-’90s Lookout/ early Queers lyrical content instead of hopping trains and living in trailer parks. –Joe Evans III (Monster Zero)


PRICKS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
An obvious bootleg of a 1981 demo by a New York band that apparently featured a pre-ZZ Top beard and multimillion-dollar record company Rick Rubin. Go figure. They sound a little like False Prophets and, save for a wretched cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," they were pretty good. –Jimmy Alvarado (No address, obviously)


PRICKS, THE:
Self-titled: 12”” EP
Before American, before Def Jam, before the Beasties or Slayer, before all that, Rick Rubin was strummin’ away in a combo called the Pricks. F’n hell, Rubin even produced this record, which sounds live with the hollow-sounding vocals and drums. The NY sound of the time owed a lot to Richard Hell and Junkie Thunders, and the Pricks wore those influences proudly on their sleeve. There’s even a bit of the No Wave thing goin’ on in the funkified “Whole Lotta Love” (t’aint the Led Zep song, bro!). –Matt Average (no label, good luck)


PRICKS, THE:
Maximum S&M: CD
Revved-up Swedish alchemists combining Motörhead with Fuck the System-era Exploited and some of the manic mental instability of Henry Fiat’s Open Sore added in for good measure. At times, it even sounds a bit like the faster, earlier Turbonegro, back before Death Punk died. Turds a-flyin’, nut flapping, high-speed fun where all the songs sounding the same is definitely a good thing. Mixed by Frank E. Male of HFOS, so you know it’ll curl your nosehairs.  –aphid (Rock Star)


PRICKS, THE:
Self-titled: 12"EP
Before American, before Def Jam, before the Beasties or Slayer, before all that, Rick Rubin was strummin’ away in a combo called the Pricks. F’n hell, Rubin even produced this record, which sounds live with the hollow-sounding vocals and drums. The NY sound of the time owed a lot to Richard Hell and Junkie Thunders, and the Pricks wore those influences proudly on their sleeve. There’s even a bit of the No Wave thing goin’ on in the funkified “Whole Lotta Love” (t’aint the Led Zep song, bro!) –Matt Average (None)


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