The Pretty Reckless

Going To Hell

Written by: EL on 24/09/2014 18:24:26

In April 2014, The Pretty Reckless reached number #5 in the Billboard Top 200 with their album, “Going To Hell”, which let’s be honest is a rarity for a “rock” album. Many may have found this surprising, since a young woman hell-bent on being the embodiment of teenage rebellion fronts it. It’s important when trying to analyse this band that you try to understand the difference between creativity as a musician and using sex as your main selling point. Does Taylor Momsen’s scantily clad body distract from what is actually a well-constructed album, or will she continue to grow her fan base through sticking the finger up at appropriate clothing and not through her talent as a musician.

The album starts off with nothing less than the sounds of Momsen simulating sex by a river, the name of the track not so ironically being “Follow Me Down” (to the river). Needless to say I instantly raised a skeptical eyebrow, wondering how necessary this “shock tactic” was to lure a listener in yet at the same time was totally intrigued by what else this album could throw at me. The song itself is punchy and full of moodiness. Momsen’s grungy and husky voice is quite intoxicating and the sex oozes from your speakers. What’s more is that the riffs are daringly aggressive and the acoustic simpering break in the middle is incredibly clever.

The title track of the album, “Going To Hell”, continues the smack down theme with more tenacity with lots of double bass, challenging lyrics and overall ballsy-ness. “Heaven Knows” brings together old and new themes seemingly reminiscent of older styles like Queen and Pink Floyd. You can see where the inspiration has come from. The chanting children in the chorus make for an incredible twist in the grunginess that Momsen brings through with her gravelly voice. Suddenly we encounter a mood dip in the album with the acoustically beautiful “House On A Hill”. It truly showcases Momsen’s vocal ability and brings forward another, more pained side to her otherwise, “screw you I do what I want” personality. It’s full of gloom and heavy heartedness and really brings the mood down to another melancholy level.

Not one to stand around and sulk however, “Sweet Things” brings the vibe back up to break neck speed. “Dear Sister”, is a very short interval that appears to be a brief loving message to a loved one. “Absolution” shares the same enthusiasm as the other tracks but seems to fall short of anything too exciting. In fact by this part of the album I’ve pretty much felt like I’ve heard it all. Bar a few stand out songs, the album as a whole is quite repetitive and samey. “Blame Me” is seven minutes of long windedness whereas “Burn” is a downcast and forlorn look at failed love though, and may be of the more honest and memorable tracks of the album. The closing song of the album is “Waiting For a Friend”, which plays with all American, folksy acoustic themes. It is a massive change from the rest of the album but makes for an intriguing finish to a moderately impressive album.

In a nutshell the first half of the album heavily outweighs the weaker second half. The lack of variety makes the album fall short of anything particularly memorable, though it does have some great moments and Momsen has definitely proved her talent as a singer. She exudes sex and confidence, which I guess at the end of the day, seems to be working for her just fine.

7

Download: Follow Me Down, Going To Hell, House On A Hill
For The Fans Of: Halestorm, Hole
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 12.03.2014
Razor & Tie / Cooking Vinyl

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