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The Pretty Reckless – Going To Hell

Laura Lloyd


When I heard that the Pretty Reckless were set to release a new album this year my inner 15-year-old emo did a small jump for joy. Having once looked up to good-girl-gone-bad front woman Taylor Momsen as a fashion icon as well as an influence, it was hard not to get excited about the new 12 track album which follows their debut ‘Light Me Up’ which was released in 2010 and EP ‘Hit Me Like A Man’ from 2012.

The album opens with track Follow Me Down easing in with the sound of a faded ambulance siren and a woman moaning in pleasurable ecstasy. It’s wonderful to hear they haven’t lost their edge. Momsen’s voice rips through the speakers, putting the heavy guitar riffs and clashing drums to shame. Sounding like a younger Courtney Love with the pure grittiness in her vocals, Momsen displays exactly why she turned her back on acting and joined a rock band, her voice is mesmerising and is definitely something to be admired.

Blame Me is a softer more poppy track from the album. Telling the story of how Momsen was messed up, the victim of her own life. When you listen to the lyrics, it’s more heartfelt than it first sounds.

Why’d You Bring a Shotgun to the Party sticks with the convention of sounding more like a heavy rock track and Momsen displays her colourful language through usage of the ‘F’ word, letting boys know that she is ‘untouchable’ and that she is not one to be messed with. It’s a refreshing, positive image to send out especially in this over-sexualised, women-are-fragile, patriarchal music industry. Last track Waiting for a Friend hits a more raw emotional chord, telling a tragic tale of ‘ghosts in the walls’ and how old memories haunt and damage the mind. It’s beautifully soft to listen to and incredibly relatable, giving it a soothing effect.

Although the album as a whole is seemingly softer to Light Me Up from 2010 it is still amazing. With the right balance of soft and heavy, it’s a blessing on the ears. It’s a dazzling comeback for the band that have proved they have grown and expanded their musical horizons. Unlike the other fading stars Momsen has managed to maintain her gritty, hard-faced look whilst not being completely in the limelight. However, this album also displays the deeper, softer side to the band and talks of turmoil’s they have all clearly suffered in the past 4 years, it is a wonderful addition to their discography!