Monday, March 13, 2006

purdy grrrls indeed

Pretty Girls Make Graves
"Elan Vital"

On their first self-titled EP, Pretty Girls Make Graves sounds exactly like you might've expected: fast, brash and very punk rock -- elements that stemmed from their members coming in from bands that played fast, brash punk. Now on their fourth release and third full-length, "Elan Vital," they're continuing with the trend of softening up their sound. The album is a milemarker in the band's existence, even the album's fastest song "Wildcat," is subdued when compared to any random tune that appeared on "Good Health."

It's no secret that Andrea Zollo, Derek Fudesco, J. Clark and Nick DeWitt have been attempting to embrace their pop sensibilities for quite sometime, and with the addition of ex-Hint Hint member Leona Marrs, it's pretty much become a reality for Pretty Girls.

The album has some magic moments: "The Magic Hour" boasts some Rocket From the Crypt-esque riffs, but rather than toppling over, it stays the course as a straight forward rock song; "Domino" is a groovy jam that will probably be used in a Target commercial in the coming months; and "Pictures of a Night Scene" has a male-female vocal play that's held back so much that it could be classifed as an instrumental.

While it's not nearly as bombastic as their first two releases, it's a pretty natural progression for the band. The only downside is that "Elan Vital" may get shuffled around into the nu-wave world that bands such as Rock Kills Kid have changed their sound for, and that's not a fair dismissal for Pretty Girls Make Graves.

So go out and buy "Elan Vital," and claim it as your own before Target does.


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