A Bullet For Pretty Boy


Written by: BL on 12/04/2011 01:37:30

Naming themselves after bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, this texan five piece (currently lacking a full time drummer) didn't get so lucky with the timing of their debut album release "Revision:Revise" with Woe, Is Me's "Number[s]" being released a few months prior and having taken the metalcore/post-hardcore scene in the US and arguably parts of that same scene spreading here in Europe by storm. Both bands having recorded at Chango Studios and drawing comparisons because of the studio giving all their bands such similar aesthetics and that they both utilise electronics and breakdowns (but every band these days do to some degree). Having said all that, despite reviews out there already arguably underrating this record in my opinion as a result of the reason I stated, there is still plenty to discern "Revision:Revise" from the crowd, you just have to give it a careful listen.

"The Deceiver" gives the listener a taste of the band's arsenal at play in a quick opening snapshot. The song is fast paced with mixes of super heavy segments interlaced with soaring melodic choruses that are seriously catchy with singing and some spacey sounding lead guitars thrown in. It's a formula that many have tried and tested, but what makes it work here more than in many cases out there is that these guys know how to organically form sections around each other and ensure fluid progression so parts don't stick out like a sore thumb. Most importantly they believe in carefully building things up before unleashing. This is demonstrated far more clearly and in full with the devastating album titled track that follows straight up after, mixing in some cleverly thought up tremolo guitar leads that ride ontop of the barrages of heavy guitars to create a sound that is simultaneously heavy and melodic, with a large dose of ambience and atmosphere rarely utilised to this degree in this genre nowadays. Those ambient lead guitars in particular will time and time again be the driving factor in many songs, creating cool harmonies and addictive sounding licks that stay with you (the main melody in "Windows" is very creative in my mind, especially the way it gets reused later on).

Songs on this album don't overdose on any particular element of modern post-hardcore/metalcore that I feel the experience becomes more enjoyable and less stale as a result. The clean singing while not terribly characterisable is utilised only in key moments in songs, are introduced well and have a very smooth tone that contradicts the harsh screams of lead vocalist Danon Saylor nicely. The electronics and programming tends to stay fairly in the background with the exception of "Tides" that has a more pronounced use of synth in the intro and for me is the best of its kind I have heard compared to other more gimmicky bands, and I feel that even the breakdowns have good timings and sound genuinely heavy and not just obnoxious. The drumming on display is also surprisingly active, with big sounding fills all over the place, and great usage of pedals and the cymbals to add highlights to some minor sections - good attention to detail I feel. Every band member eventually comes together for the simply epic final piece "I Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise" that features Tyler Carter of Woe, Is Me singing a wonderful closing chorus. This song is perhaps the best example of this genre I have heard to date, the balance of heavy and melodic passages and their combination couldn't really have been any better and showcases that these guys certainly have more talent than people might initially give them credit for.

Its not an album without faults as A Bullet For Pretty Boy are only using the same tools and ingredients so many out there are already using and therefore genre limitations do start cropping up. Not to mention they chose to do their own strong take on this genre that is probably expanding far too quickly without really evolving to keep up, which isn't their fault and I'd argue these guys do it better than many of their most similar sounding peers including the much bigger We Came As Romans. Had the singing and screaming been a bit more unique and not just nicely adequate, I'd feel this album would be a stronger clear winner, but as it stands its just a very solid example of why not every band doing this kind of music should be thrown to the wolves without a second thought - great stuff.


Download: Revision:Revise, Only Time Will Tell, I Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise
For the fans of: We Came As Romans, The Word Alive, Oceana (old), Of Machines
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 09.11.2010
Artery Recordings

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