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Pretty Little Enemy - 'Second Load' EP Review


1. Get A Grip

2. Collide

3. Play By The Rules

4. It's All Just A Show

Pretty Little Enemy, a new name to me (this is becoming a common theme in my life as a reviewer), sonically hinting at Coheed & Cambria who are probably the closest my listening has come to this music in the past, but that may change.

Second Load came to me almost as a breath of fresh air with a hard edge, 15 minutes wrapped in tight riffs & powerful rhythms. These songs at first listen seemed unconnected, other than being written and performed by the same band. This may be what the band was aiming for, four good tunes for a recording session. Being me I went over the EP with a fine tooth comb and listening to the lyrics I got my "oh there's the link" moment. I found myself fabricating a bit of a toxic relationship breakup scenario carried out over four songs, making the links in the lyrics in my own head. I debated laying the whole thing out here & taking the mystery out of that for the listener and eventually decided. "Nah, let 'em work it out, you'll look dumb as a bag of rocks if you're wrong anyway."

Everything is big here, big tones, big riffs, big drums, singer Louise's vocals go from a powerful anger to match the riffs all the way to a tender softness in the refrains backed by acoustic guitar. In all there's a lot to recommend this EP, if I were to be critical I might say it left me wanting more, it felt brief, maybe that's an old guy thing, I like my music to stretch itself out, here's the part where I make that criticism seem like a strength, these songs are composed without an inch of waste, in writing this review I've had it on a loop on my iPod (I like to do this with everything I review, what? how can I have a methodology when this is only my second review?) I think the words are learning me now, but I'd listen to it again quite happily. Suffice to say this EP invites repeat play and rewards it, you pick up on more and more every time you play it again. Thinking about it, it says a lot for the band's songwriting that I was able to do that.

In all a succinct statement, a message that may, or may not have been deliberate and some admirable musicianship, happy days, if this style of music is for you, then this EP is definitely worthy of a look. I don't know if it's been enough to convert me, but it has opened my ears & I might well be listening to it again as you read this.

Review - Mike McLaughlin

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