Years of touring and personal demons rent Melbourne band Pretty City and tore them apart, but despite the trauma and challenges, the band collectively agreed to release their final collection of recordings in ‘Out The Inside’ as an epitaph. And what a momento mori it is.
‘Out The Inside’ is a vibrant collection of steely indie rock, filled with anthemic jewels and indelible melodies that positively sparkle and shine. The tracks thunderously blast their way into the ether: magnificent stadium fodder with jangling, visceral guitars and heartfelt deliveries. There is a melange of Madchester, Britpop and Shoegaze deep in the genes with an antipodean slant (think Crowded House, Jet and DMA’s): magnificent, statuesque pop songs with a sliver of melancholy peeking through the brilliant euphoric melodies.
Recorded in a huge 3 story beach house overlooking the ocean on the west coast of Oregon, USA, the sessions were done in an incredible 10 days, just days before the band flew out to showcase at SXSW 2018. Life then took over, with all of its vicissitudes and challenges before the band decided to colect the recording and release this album. And we are all the better for it.
Opener ‘Places To Hide’ is one of those pulse quickening anthems, filled with a rock’n’roll swagger and a swag full of attitude with its squealing wall of guitars and pounding rhythm section. ‘We Should Be Friends’ leaps from the starting block with bravado and sparkle: an eloquent effervescent pop song with an iron heartbeat riff and a cynical look at false friends:
I can paint you a picture, tell you a story, sell you a lie, but there’s nowhere to run or places to hide.
‘Health’ turns up the psychedelic dial with its jangling, swerving, reverberated guitars and massive chorus. It’s loud and and cinematic: an enthralling rush. Yet underneath the sparkling cloak lies darker themes that provide a prescient glimpse into end of the band:
My only home is a freakshow, My only friend is a silhouette, Sooner or later your thoughts will betray you and start doing things that are bad for your health.
‘In My Own Time’ perfects the pop sensibilities: rousing melodies and heart pounding choruses. ‘On The Inside’ showcase the bands indelible ear for melody – recalling the bittersweet pop perfection of Crowded House.
And even in the quieter moments such as ”Where Love Takes Me’, ‘Take It From Me’ and “Guide’, the band burns with a bright intensity and an almost psychedelic shimmer.
If ‘Out The Inside’ is indeed Pretty City’s farewell gift, it is a tragic but magnificent parting treasure.
The album is available to stream and download here or through the link below: