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| 11 March 2021 | Reply

Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: February 12, 2021

Rating: 96%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have been a huge fan of The Pretty Reckless since their debut release.  With each new release, I wait and listen with anticipation… inevitably every band falters on a release, right?  Well, here we are eleven years and 4 studio full length releases later and they are still cranking out solid offerings for their fans.  Disc opener and title track “Death By Rock And Roll” kicks things off in the right direction, delivering a high energy rocker that swirls together different sounds and textures, all well setting the bar for the remainder of the disc.  The guitar work, the vocals, and the rhythm section swirl perfectly together in the mix.  “Only Love Can Save Me Now” features Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil, but make no mistake, this track is all The Pretty Reckless thanks to Taylor Momsen’s familiar vocals that seem to weave themselves seamlessly into each track.  Be sure to catch the guitar run and solo that graces the bridge.  This song has a different feel, but fits perfectly in the collection of songs. “​25” is an amazing moody track that benefits from things being dialed back at times and intense at others.  The emotion in Taylor’s vocals, whether at her normal range, when she dives deep into the lower edges, or the gritty bold voice when the chorus hits, adds depth to the song and drags you into her world for the nearly 5-1/2 minute track.  “Got So High” is another great song that combines a killer vocal with some killer acoustic guitar work from Ben Phillips.  The song takes on a different texture and feel thanks to the stripped guitar, bass, and drum sound that rubs up against the earthy lead vocal.  “Standing At The Wall” is a beautiful track that features more acoustic from Ben, this is a great track that takes me back to an MTV Unplugged feel, but grows when the band plugs in and a lush orchestration is introduced and becomes the perfect backdrop for an amazing Momsen vocal.  The vocals runs on the chorus are top notch and catch me off guard every time I hear them.  “Rock And Roll Heaven” is a country-tinged slower track that really stands out thanks to layered guitar sound and Taylor’s vocals.  The lyrics draw you in thanks to the perfect delivery.  The anthemic chorus will make this a hit live, as I can see hands waving and lighters moving back and forth in a packed venue.

“And So It Went” featuring Tom Morello has different grooves all mingled together.  The vocals, guitars, and rhythm section all seem to be running at different speeds at times through the verse, but the chorus brings everyone together.  The vocal breakdown that leads into the bridge is beautiful and gives Momsen’s softer side a moment to shine.  The children’s chorus tossed in on a later chorus adds punch to the song.  “My Bones” builds on the energy and mood of other tracks leading into it, but the tribal rhythm section courtesy of drummer Jamie Perkins and bassist Mark Damon gives this song an edge.  The song picks up at chorus and bridge and runs away with itself… this track is AMAZING!  I can’t get enough of this one with each pass through the disc.  “Broomsticks” is an interesting segue piece that leads to another killer rocker.  The title lends itself to intro “Witches Burn.”  This track is a rhythm section heavy rocker that features some thumping bass lines and thunderous drums that lead the way while Phillips’ guitar chugs steadily in the background, before launching itself sonically at the bridge.  The vocal is tight and perfect for the lyrical content.  This one sneaks up on you with each listen and becomes an earworm that takes a long time to reset and escape… if you want to that is.  “Turning Gold” has a sound and vibe that ties this album to the bands last release sonically.  There is something about the tempered guitars that guide us through the first verse and the musical component that grows and seem to explode at the chorus.  The song has a killer cadence that keeps things flowing nicely through the bridge.  Disc closer “Harley Darling” opens with a cool harmonica piece that makes way for one last stab at a Southern Rock / Country vibe.  Momsen and crew embrace the change in sound and rock vibe and put their own stamp on it.  A new career path?  I doubt it, but nice to know the group can shift gears and still rock the shit out of a song and album.

Tracklisting:  ​Death By Rock And Roll​ – Only Love Can Save Me Now – And So It Went – ​25​ – My Bones – Got So High – Broomsticks – Witches Burn – Standing At The Wall – Turning Gold – Rock And Roll Heaven – Harley Darling






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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