album review: pretty girls make graves- elan vital.
a lot of us know about pretty girls make graves very well. although they're a hometown band [seahawks are going to the super bowl, bitches], i hadn't heard of them before the new romance, their 2003 release. the album was really good, with the exception of me thinking that lead singer andrea zollo's voice was a little too weak for all the thrashing they did. the few songs i've heard from the new release suit andrea's delivery very well. little did i know what i was getting into when i listened to the album in full.
track one. "the nocturnal house"-
the album starts out with a blast of guitar, a irregular time signature, and whistles. not whistles as in "while you work," whistles as in "technical foul on ron artest." this song is in the same vein as pretty girls make graves' previous work, with the only difference being it's a little more suited to andrea's delivery. towards the end, they play with the time signature, going from 6/8 time to 4/4 every two bars. it works.
track two. "pyrite pedestal"-
the bass riff is killer, and the keyboards make a very nice accompaniment. and when the drums come in? KILLER. the harmonies in the chorus are something i'm not used to from this band, but it's a very welcome change. it's a pop song. and i love it.
track three. "the number"-
starting off with a casio keyboard riff, and then going into a classic rock-esque drum beat. a very singable chorus. i can imagine that getting stuck in my head.
track four. "parade"-
man. another catchy melody. seriously, singing along to pretty girls make graves is the last thing i would expect to do. it's a very welcome change.
track five. "domino"-
this song starts out with a piano riff, and a really sweet-sounding guitar in the background. what i've noticed about this album is that it actually has choruses. not like, "singing the same part over" choruses, but "has a decent shot to get played on alternative radio" choruses. and a nice guitar solo.
track six. "interlude"-
acoustic guitars, percussion and trumpets. i like.
track seven. "the magic hour"-
the song starts out with a classic pgmg riff, and then goes all dance-punk on us. for a second, it goes back to classic pgmg, and then, back to the dance-punk. i could imagine the rapture or someone writing a song that sounds like this.
track eight. "selling the wind"-
mvp of this song, the accordion.
track nine. "pearls on a plate"-
i believe this is the very first downtempo pgmg song i've ever heard. very atmospheric.
track ten. "pictures of a night scene"-
the piano is the key instrument on this track. and andrea only provides harmonies on this song.
track eleven. "wildcat"-
another foray into the dance-punk world. i'm tapping my toes right now. contains one of my favorite things about pretty girls make graves, the nimble guitar work.
track twelve. "bullet charm"-
a dark, beautiful, classic pgmg track. lots and lots of atmosphere towards the end. a top-tier closing track.
summary: i'm going to keep this short and sweet. pretty girls make graves have made the best album of their career. they take the style they're known for, and they expand it and experiment with it to create something classic and timeless. let me repeat: pretty girls make graves have made the best album of their career. this is a must-have.