Pretty & Nice, Blue & Blue | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Pretty & Nice, Blue & Blue 

Album Review

blue.jpg

(Self-released, CD)

When is it too soon to release a remix record? For Trent Reznor — a dude who drops remixes like Verizon drops calls — the answer is never. But what about unsigned indie acts such as Pretty & Nice, who have but one EP to their credit? Considering the feisty goodness found on their latest short-player, Blue & Blue, now is as fine a time as any.

Readers may recall the overwhelmingly positive review I gave of P&N’s debut, Pink & Blue. That effort provides the sonic springboard for several of these “new” numbers. But if it weren’t for the shared titles, you’d be hard pressed to recognize ’em. This is, of course, in keeping with remix tradition.

At this relatively early point in their career, Pretty & Nice are already one of the finest unsigned pop acts around. And who needs labels these days, anyway? Certainly not Reznor, who cut himself loose from his corporate overlords just last week. Of course, he has had the benefit of nearly two decades of industry support.

Give P&N a little time to catch up. Local music aficionados are already familiar with the band’s musical credentials, namely, energetic guitar-rock that sounds like Gang of Four and early Joe Jackson doing battle with a colossal Japanese robot. The rest of the world will catch their drift eventually. Insouciant, fidgety, and with pop chops to burn, P&N seem destined to leave a fresh welt on rock ’n’ roll’s well-scarred hide.

The disc opens with “Pretty Shells,” one of two brand-new, un-remixed cuts on the EP. Built on a scrunchy drumbeat, the song recalls electro-indie-rock alchemists Braniac, a little-known act that broke up due to the tragic death of its leader. P&N ably continue that band’s biomechanical approach to pop, with catchy falsetto vocals and shock-the-system guitar action.

“Grab Your Nets” is another new one, with a killer speed-surf intro and a Buzzcocks-worthy chorus. From there, the EP drops into remix mode, with a shuddering take on “Gramophone,” a song I’d previously likened to something from the Dischord Records canon. Well, that’s hardly the case now, as this version sounds like a swinger’s resort on the moon.

“Fortress” is retrofitted with a club-ready bass line and disco handclaps. If the intro seems silly, wait until the part where an indistinguishable vocal sample rapidly ping-pongs from speaker to speaker. I think I actually LOL’d, as the kids might say.

Also transmogrified is “Speedboats,” which is reborn as a dub-house confection, while Pink & Blue standout “Research & Development” is given the glitch treatment. They managed to preserve the song’s sinuous guitar lines, however, which lend stateliness to the digital fuckery.

Blue & Blue may “only” be a remix EP, but it requires no justification beyond its own excellence. My sole complaint is that now I want more.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Casey Rae-Hunter

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation