The Pretty Reckless // ‘Death by Rock N Roll’ // Album Review

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New York’s rock quartet is back on the airwaves with their fourth full-length album ‘Death by Rock N Roll’ which is due for release on 12th February with their latest record label, Fearless Records.

After the success of their last album ‘Who You Selling For’ in 2016, the band peaked with two single releases from the album, leaving the band on a high.  Not only did they embark on a tour to support the album, but in 2017 they found themselves on stage as an opening act at the Fox Theater in Michigan supporting the legendary Soundgarden.  Little did they know about the actions that were soon to follow which saw one of the greatest rock gods in history, Chris Cornell, take his own life shortly after. And if things couldn’t get any worse, more tragic news knocked the band into oblivion when their producer Kato Khandwala died in a motorcycle crash.

With the band at a loss, tours were cancelled. Time was needed to mourn and they remained out of the limelight to gather their thoughts on the future of their music. But it was the creation of this album that saved them, allowing them to use songwriting as a means to deal with the emotional turmoil they had been cast into.

But after a lengthy stretch in the studio which lasted over a year, the band hit back and began working on their new album with none other than Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer, Matt Cameron. With a truly fitting title and the first track of the album. ‘Death by Rock N Roll’ was born.

Released in May 2020 as a single, the sound of footsteps set the track off as a clambering riff and pummelling drumbeat hurls you headfirst into Tayler Momsem’s tempestuous vocals.  Resonating between the heart-pumping drumbeat and reprising guitar riff, Momsem’s edicts form a strong stance throughout the track. Those soft blond locks and dreamy eyes may be every man’s dream – but damn, she means business.

Those deep and powerful tones continue over the first few tracks of the album and Momsem’s vocals expose that they’re more than adept to cope with a variety of octaves, coherent to the bands’ grunge rock vibe.

‘And So it Went’ is the third track on the album and the fourth to be released as a single in January featuring Rage Against The Machine’s infamous guitarist Tom Morello. A concoction of flippant power chords, driving drums and Morello’s multifaceted mesmerizing guitar solos are dished up and topped with Momsem’s vociferous and fluctuating vocal tones in this unruly beast of a tune.

A further two tracks from the album, ‘Broomsticks’ and ‘25’ were also released during late 2020 and more of a contrast to those at the start, although equally formidable. ‘Got So High’ and ‘Standing at the Wall’ on the other hand, shows a more mellow side to Momsem that somehow seems to erase that ‘rock goddess’ appearance.

The last three tracks of the album turn yet another corner and take on more of a ‘country’ feel and lead you down a winding, dusty road with the twang of acoustic guitars, strolling beats and a trusty mouth organ.  A definite ‘feel good’ end to the album after a heavy rock n roll start.

All in all, this 12-track album has been well written and musically constructed.  The start was appealing with a distinctive sound that lured you in to believe that the tracks that would follow would be congruent. But the change in musical style was welcomed as the vocals of Tayler Momsem proved versatile throughout the entire album.

Not only is she a successful actress and model, but at a sweet age of 27 years, she’s already found her niche.

 

Review: Emma Painter

 

‘Death by Rock N Roll’ is due for release on 12th February via Fearless Records.

 

DEATH BY ROCK AND ROLL 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”

 

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The Pretty Reckless // ‘Death by Rock N Roll’ // Album Review
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