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The Pretty Reckless - 'Make Me Wanna Die'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:01 UK time, Monday, 10 May 2010

Pretty Reckless

A hyper-dynamic, dramatic rock band with a dark-voiced lady singer who is also a Hollywood actress will draw comparisons. There's Paramore for starters, or Hole, just because y'know, girls and guitars, all the same, right?*

A better point of comparison might be 30 Seconds To Mars, if you factor the Hollywood career in and imagine Jared Leto is a girl, which is surprisingly easy. Thankfully, neither of these are damning associations in this day and age.

Not that Taylor Momsen (out of Gossip Girl) - a 16-year-old who could give Daisy Dares You a run for their money in the "I AM NOT A POP STAR I AM A ROCK STAR" stakes - has a problem dealing with scary comparisons. Not if her recent "I don't wanna be Courtney Love, I wanna be Kurt Cobain" quote is anything to go by...

(You can listen to it here.)

It begins, as astonishing songs sometimes do, with dirty Mellotron flutes - that's not just the name of a terrible hipster band I've made up, it's an actual sound. It's the sound of hissy breath in a rusty metal pipe, stretched over scuzzy tape and looped to hell and back. TO HELL AND BACK, I TELL YOU.

These are rudely interrupted by some great bit chuntering slabs of guitar. Slabs of guitar which are thrown around in much the same way that the makers of Stonehenge got their blocks off. First there's a gap, then a SUDDEN SOLID WALL OF GUITAR, then another gap. It's not unlike being repeatedly hit inbetween the ears by an iron girder, only without all the mess.

And standing on the top of the circle is Taylor Momsen (out of Gossip Girl), with her soft crooning rasp. The sun, which is straining to be seen behind a boiling sky of clouds, strikes her from behind with a perfect natural spotlight, blinding and revealing in equal measure.

She's fed up, of course. Despite the success, the films and whatnot, the appearance of her music on the soundtrack to the film Kick-Ass, someone is still giving her the skunk-eye to such a horrendous degree that she wants to end it all. It doesn't matter what she does, either. Try as she might, call down all the cherubims and seraphims of heaven to her side as she may, SOMEONE remains unimpressed.

Which makes me wonder, she's not talking about US, the audience, is she? This isn't a thinly-veiled description of what it is like to live out your teen years under the withering (and comparison-happy) stare of the public, is it?

Makes you think, eh?

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 17th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

It's Pop says: "Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that a song is good, regardless of who sings it.."

Social Butterflies says: "The World's first taster of The Pretty Reckless takes the form of their gritty, snarling new single Make Me Wanna Die"

SoSoJuicy says: "Wouldn't she be so much prettier if she cracked a smile?"

* This is not right.



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