Pretty City’s music is a constantly shifting amalgam of indie, shoe gaze, psychedelic and classic hard rock. With these influences evolving from track to track it can be difficult to pin the band down in terms of genre, except perhaps under the expansive and nebulous umbrella of ‘rock’.
Always ones to have a good rock song in them, Melbourne trio Pretty City are back with their latest shiner Mary Go Round.
Latest single Mary Go Round contains the dense distorted textures of Queens of the Stone Age, an anthemic charm reminiscent of the Brit rockers Kasabian and the psych inspired sonic experimentation of The Jesus and Mary Chain. But looking beyond the band’s miscellany of influences what indisputably sits at the heart of Pretty City’s music is a talent for distilling raw and exciting rock tracks.
Perhaps taking some stylistic and compositional cues from Queens of the Stone Age tracks like I Sat By The Ocean and No One Knows their latest single’s chorused vocals, sing-along hooks and stomping drum kicks instil Mary Go Round with a catchy pop rock sound. There’s also a certain stadium rock quality to the track. The expressive pummel of Drew Schapper’s thunderous and expansive drum rhythms add a sense of momentum and gravitas.
Hypnotic and ominous layers of guitar noise meld into ambient swells. These crashing riffs ebb and flow, conveying the underlying sense of struggle and isolation that lurks beneath the track’s poppy veneer. The instrumentals are also given a chance to shine in the middle 8 with some psychedelic shoe-gaze moments.
Reflecting the futile and circular disputes of a floundering relationship vocalist, Hugh Matthews opening lyrics point the finger at an unidentified lover. “You know I’m leaving you for the last time now / You Got reasons too / Keep them by your side” Matthews resolutely announces. But as the narrative progresses it becomes clearer that rather than swaying the lover turned adversary the track’s lyrics are a solipsistic monologue, with the protagonist locked in an agonising internal struggle over a decision to break free.
After an emotive breakdown making use of a loud dynamic and subsequent build the track concludes on a brighter tone with the reflection “You know I’m stepping out for the last time now.” Layering distortion, psychedelia and dense sonic textures around a towering heavy rock sound Melbourne’s Pretty City have delivered another excellent single.
Fans looking to catch the band live Pretty City will be kicking off their Mary Go Round National Tour in November, kicking off at Sydney’s World Bar on November 20th.