Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Four albums into their career, The Pretty Reckless display a confidence that is born from both their natural enthusiasm and the knowledge that they’re damn good at what they do.
This is a band who always seem to be pushing, never content to rest on their much-lauded laurels but moving in whatever direction they choose without the fear of having to conform.
Death By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is proof positive of this, Taylor Momsem’s outfit stretching their wings and providing a genuinely thrilling album that brings thunder and delicate rain showers with equal elan.
The title track brings things open with a bang as massive guitars and powerful vocals tear into the song with feral relish, it’s pent up fury unleashed and stamping their authority.
Only Love Can save Us Now’ is equally thunderous, featuring as it does, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron for some added heft and RATM’s Tom Morello adds a sprinkling of his magic to the insanely catchy ‘And So It Went’.
‘25’ is a Bond theme in the waiting and by this glorious showing, complete with wonderfully retro 60’s pastoral pop interlude, The Pretty Reckless are a front runner for 007’s next outing.
This is just one of many little detours from the hard rocking path that the album displays, all of them showing different sides to be the band that complements rather than jars.
The band rock hard and brilliantly well in the scattergun power of ‘My Bones’ and the superbly dynamic ‘Turning Gold’ and both are highlights of the album but there is so much more than loud guitars and full throttle vocals to behold.
This is illustrated perfectly in the mellow and chilled out likes of the woozy ‘Got So High’, the perfectly constructed ebb and flow that builds to a crescendo of ‘Staring at the Wall’ and the closing double punch of the show stopping The Eagles meets Sheryl Crowe hyper country ballad of ‘Rock and Roll Heaven’ and the gently rolling ‘Harley Darling’, whose country vibe rewrites the rule book of what a rock album should finish with.
Bold, brave, ballsy and self-assured, ‘Death By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is the best and most varied The Pretty Reckless album yet and points the way to a continued upwards trajectory that knows no limits.
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