Review: Pretty Girls Make Graves

Pretty Girls Make Graves
“Good Health”
(Lookout! Records)

Indie rock of the highest caliber.  Dual guitars push and pull the music, while singer/lyricist Andrea Zollo stretches over the top as she deftly combines the sweetness of a female voice, with some angst, aggression and attitude.  Her vocals have limitless personality.  Backing vocals come shouting along in all the right places.  The occasional twinge of keyboards spice up an intro.  While not revolutionary in sound, Pretty Girls Make Graves seem to skirt easy comparisons while not being elitist.  In fact, there is an easy to swallow pop sensibility being bullied around their songs, with crafty efforts to keep structures and breaks fresh without beating them into the ground with repetition.  The guitars expertly play in and out of each other and give this the overall ‘rocking’ feel, tempered with moody layers of rolling and crashing drums.  And then I heard, “The Get A Way” as I walked alone at night with headphones.  A brilliant song that gives the listener that funny feeling of ‘this music is important’.  Kind of a cross between painful reminiscing and optimistic future prospecting.  A commanding, rolling drum line brings the track in with a hiccup of high note guitars playing through as the listener is teased by little repeated lyrics that die off in subtle coo’s of Zollo’s finest soft voice.  I dig the small, 60 second electronic, almost midi remake of the song that serves as the following track (but sounds like the end of “The Get A Way” song if you aren’t paying attention).  “Do you remember what the music meant?” pleads the opening track “Speakers Push The Air” while the bass stutters on a jackknifed tempo.  It’s the sentimentality of music as entity, held tightly by each and every one of us.  Band names worn like badges of courage, surviving the battles of nights defined by the music we experienced.  Pretty Girls Make Graves captures that within their music.  Their worth is elevated and world is a better place.