Blasting off with ‘Emergency Room’, Western Australian band Pretty Uglys‘ new EP ‘Party Friends’ is a pulsating and vibrant set of magnificent, sneering and imposing tracks. Pure guitar-driven riffs over a thundering rhythm section and with vocals so loaded with attitude you can almost see the arched eyebrows and sneer. It is gratifyingly cathartic and confident.
With your ears still ringing after the opener, there is no pause. With a guitar sound that is arctic and full-throated, title track ‘Party Friends’ has the blustering pop sensibility that recalls early The Church and the drive of Green Day – eighties harmony-laden vocals and chiming guitars ringing out over indelible melodies. This is heady, exciting stuff.
‘Puzzle Pieces’ again has a melodic strength – pure pop songs delivered over an insistent drive and with sky-high choruses. It’s stadium filling fodder, anthemic and poised. ‘Pleased To Meet Ya’ continues with a heavy riff based entry and sneering cynical vocals.
The EP ends with the thundering ‘Dreamland Delusion’ – a fitting exit with its pounding drums, and shouty chorus. The band has managed to have a distinctive guitar sound that combines a raw rhythm chop with razor sharp melodic outlines – think of the Smashing Pumpkins sound and add youthful excess and innovation.
Indeed, Pretty Uglys manage to combine indie pop with an excoriating punk attitude while exuding a youthful insouciance, and the result is quite glorious and very exciting. According to the band, song construction is key:
All songs we compiled together in our rehearsal room generally sparking from a simple guitar or bass part, which evolves into a sum what structured track with lyrics always coming last. We used the garageband app on iphone to demo a lot of it, then went to see to our good mate Tristan Sturmer at Sumo Studios Perth which is where we recorded all the final versions of the songs.
The EP is really a blast of fresh air from the West – an exciting and pulse-quickening sound with attitude. You can download/stream here and listen below:
You can catch the Pretty Uglys on tour in May in Western Australia – details below:
Thursday May 13th – ‘Wades World Premiere Party’ for Rusty Surfboards at Perth HQ
Friday May 14th – The River Hotel, Margaret River Tickets
w/ Sky Cave + Stunned Mullets
Saturday May 15th – Indi Bar, Scarborough Tickets
w/c Star Arcana + Circa The Sun + Sunsick
Friday May 21st – The Aardvark, Fremantle Tickets