Light Me Up

The Pretty Reckless

Review score: 69%

Review Date: May 2014
Reviewer: Tali
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

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And now we have some old-style charm. From a parallel dimension, where 70s and 80s rock never stopped being published, we have The Pretty Reckless’s first album. We have the dark themes of Black Sabbath material, mixed with various musical styles, old and new.

We depart with My Medicine, a song with the stripped-back charm of an old rock song. But, it’s definitely the vocals that win in this mixture. Backed up by grungy guitar, we have a song that’s hypnotic to listen to. Lyrically, it could be the more-serious cousin to Fairies Wear Boots. It’s certainly refreshing after listening to the sound-heavy music of most other recent releases.

The next stop is something more noisy. Since You’re Gone is a pretty typical break-up song, but it’s got a musical kick to the beat. None of that mopey stuff here, she’s on the up and getting on with her life, forget whoever that person was. I can imagine this short song spawning from one of those awkward meetings with the ex… so, how have you been?

We edge into ABBA territory with a heavier song: Make Me Wanna Die. Alternating heavy guitars, with heavy and soulful singing, this is another heavy hitting song. Slightly reminiscent of P!nk’s early work, Taylor’s practically hitting you over the head with her feelings. Ever wondered what that song in the credits of Kick-Ass was? Or The Vampire Diaries Series 2 Trailer?

Shifting through the styles again, we have Light Me Up. This one might have escaped from an early Avril Lavigne album (Under My Skin to be specific. There’s a specific song it reminds me of, but I can’t remember which). The vocals particularly, but only in this song.

Now we shall slow down and feel the pain of Just Tonight. The vocals take the front again, but the rest of the band picks up for the chorus. It’s one of those songs that sounds like waves hitting the shore, picking up and fading away, but somehow making a great song, with a melodramatic, classical outro.

On another note, let’s take a step towards Royal Republic’s disco beat in Miss Nothing. The guitars have woken up again to pick up the pace in this one. This seems to be one of those grave-side songs, at least the lyrics are, right next to puns on words beginning ‘miss’. The vocals are more processed, with a touch of Miss Lavigne slipping in again. It maintains pace, and really rocks.

Now we’re going to get even heavier and closer to that classic, machine-guitars of Sabbath, Goin' Down. It’s semi-confessional in the format as she tells the story of what she did to a guy who cheated on her (hopefully fiction). It’s a good song and really upbeat in a strange kind of way.

Obligatory sad/slow song ahoy. There’s usually one on every album, and Nothing Left To Lose is that song. Acoustic take over leaves stripped back lyrics (no electric fluff) and the guitarist takes his moment to show off, if only for a few seconds.

To get back on track, we have Factory Girl. Electric guitars are back, the pace picks up again, and a catchy chorus follows along. It’s simple enough to pick up early in the song and sing continuously for the rest of the day.

Our last stop has acoustic guitars and stripped vocals, but You has a better beat to it. I’m fairly certain there’s a violin in there somewhere (or keyboard set to violin, it’s hard to tell). It’s a chilled out ending for a fast paced album.

And here we are left at the far end of the album, and a question sits before us.

Replay?

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Track List (may vary)

  • My Medicine
  • Since You’re Gone
  • Make Me Wanna Die
  • Light Me Up
  • Just Tonight
  • Miss Nothing
  • Goin’ Down
  • Nothing Left to Lose
  • Factory Girl
  • You