I get my first vaccine shot tomorrow and I’d be lying if I said my anxiety wasn’t starting to get the best of me. I need something to calm me down and something about pretty/normal’s self-titled EP says it will do the trick.
As soon as “Tonguska Events” hit my speakers, I knew I had made the right choice. The track starts off with an undeniable sense of power and a wall of sound that instantly brought a sense of comfort over my anxious self. There’s something so familiar about the vocals but I can’t quite put my finger on it right now. I’m sure it’ll hit me later but, regardless, I loved the familiarity this opening track brought while feeling completely new. There’s no lack of nostalgia in this first song and I hope that’s an element I’ll get throughout the rest of this EP.
Although still full of energy, “Panic Disorderly Coveralls” brings down the in-your-face-ness ever so slightly to give way for a beautiful track that, again, brought me a sense of comfort. Even though the vocals become a little more shouty for the chorus, there’s no lack of emotion behind the words. Although far from lo-fi, there’s something almost atmospheric about the hazy guitars going on behind the poignant vocals. You can feel the band give in and lose a sense of constraint around the two-minute mark adding a bone-shattering feeling of power and emotions. It left me speechless all the way to the end of this track.
“Koresh Fans” slows this EP down even more for a hauntingly beautiful sound. Again, I find myself grasping at straws as far as who to compare this to. I know there are acts out there that this reminds me of, the problem is placing those acts. Maybe it’s Brand New or maybe I’m just saying that because of the sheer amount of emotion each track is drenched in. Maybe it’s Hidden In Plain View again, because of the emotion but also because of the song structure. Regardless, when this song really hit hard about halfway through, I felt as if I was just stuck. Stuck in my chair, stuck with my fingers positioned over my keyboard, just stuck in the beauty that is pretty/normal.
The shortest song on this EP is “Observations From The Kitchen Floor” but it was an instant favorite of mine. There are some acts where even though the vocals are clean and heard loud and clear, I wish I had lyric sheets to read along with. pretty/normal is a good example of that. I was so busy trying to catch everything that was happening during this quick song that I didn’t have the time to catch the words like I wanted to but, judging by the song title and the overall mood of this track, this is absolutely a song that would speak to me lyrically and I can’t wait to go back and listen to it again when I’m not reviewing it.
“Self-Harm Career” ends this EP beautifully. I feel like I keep saying the same things over and over again about pretty/normal but it really can’t be said enough. The way this band is able to convey emotion through their music is staggering and almost mentally draining. That sounds like a bad thing but, I promise, it’s not. It’s almost like a therapy session only, instead of talking with a shrink, you are talking to yourself within your mind while using the music as an outlet to let it all out. Let it all go. Honestly, that’s exactly what I needed and this final track absolutely hit the spot. Again, I truly wish I had lyrics to read along to but, between the song title and the phrases I did catch, this track has a strong message that deserves to be heard.
pretty/normal is one of those bands that will stick in my head for the foreseeable future. The amount of power and emotion they have is truly stunning and their lyrics (at least those that I caught) truly spoke to me on a deep level. This is a band I have my eye on and I can’t wait to see what else they put out there.
My Favorite Track(s): “Observations From the Kitchen Floor”
For Fans Of: Emotion and Power; Familiar Sounds; Emotion– did I mention emotion?
Mosh-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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