Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Pretty Reckless - Going To Hell (2014)

Vinyl cover; the CD cover is disappointingly cropped

So, apparently, actress Taylor Momsen (who seems most known for her childhood role in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and her more recent tenure on Gossip Girl) is also a rock star. Who knew, right? I only found out a week ago when my roommate showed me the music video for her latest single, Heaven Knows. It's a raucous, rebellious tune, caught somewhere between Queen and Pink Floyd, with a schoolyard setting, religious symbolism, and themes of corrupted innocence. What's more, Taylor Momsen is apparently not shy about showing off her body. So, it was pretty much right up my alley. I drove out the very next day to pick up her band (The Pretty Reckless)'s latest album, Going To Hell.

And it's very good - with, perhaps surprisingly, a lot of the sort of tunes that get stuck in your head, despite this most emphatically not being a pop record. It's hard rock, even a little metal - but the kind that I can appreciate. Even though, as I understand, the rest of the band is made up of men, this music fits very well into my current "women who rock" phase of obsession, alongside Courtney Love, and Stonefield, and the Japanese girl group Gacharic Spin that I'm going to see live next weekend.

Highlights of the album are the single, Heaven Knows, and the title track, but also a stirring number called Sweet Things, as well as Why'd You Bring A Shotgun To The Party, which is (as I read it) a very fun and unpretentious response to the disturbing trend of school shootings that's been going around for a while now. But the rest of the album is more than just filler, with some other good songs  - like Burn - that maintain the general concept of the album as well as provide just enough balance to the heavy sound that prevails. The latter is in particular evidence on the two acoustic bonus tracks that demonstrate the solid songwriting ability of this band.

The Pretty Reckless, you have yourselves a new fan.

Did I mention Taylor Momsen is super hot?


  1. Interesting that you'd happen upon them as well. I just read an article about them in RS, caught my eye because of something about getting drunk and listening to Nirvana... or something. Listening to them on Youtube right now. The singles were alright but the deep cuts on this album are really wonderful. This is a total nostalgia trip into my circa-2005 grunge days, with bands like Drain STH and Soundgarden. But definitely better than those particular two bands. I might have to get this album.

  2. Yeah, it's pretty awesome. I forgot to mention them during con weekend. Their songs are like stuck in my head on repeat.