Prettiest Eyes - Pools - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Prettiest Eyes - Pools

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2017-11-24
Prettiest Eyes - Pools
Prettiest Eyes - Pools

Bold, lacerating, anarchic noise for the new generation of psych-rock listeners. Prettiest Eyes will polarise listeners because of the outwardly dissonant sound on Pools. John Dwyer of The Oh Sees has suggested they have a bit of The Birthday Party about them. Certainly, they share the abstractness and feral genealogy. The searing atonalism on Pools is equal parts narcotic invocation, and dissociated garage punk. I suppose some will call it art-rock but that would assign to it an intellectual connotation far removed from its beastly physicality.

Prettiest Eyes are from Los Angeles (via Puerto Rico), and maybe the best local [historical] reference would be The Screamers or The Flesh Eaters. Or in a modern comparison, a more agitated Preoccupations. Punk music of the weird variety, disengaged but wicked and funny. Aloof but transfixing. I struggled to connect with it at first. In fact, I’m still struggling with it. The starkness, and its deliberate sidetracking of the poppier elements of psychedelic music, make it a torrid listen (Maybe ‘Dandy’ and ‘A Sweet Song’ are the 60’s loving exceptions). Not your average Castle Face release but that in itself isn’t a bad thing, just an observation. As the album progresses, you do accustom yourself to the psychological unease, a little like you did with Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. The band would undoubtedly be formidable live. The music they make is intense and cathartic, and also fundamentally theatrical. The reverb invokes memories of youthful punk rebellion in the mid to late 60s Nuggets era.

Pools could be a grower, maybe even the kind of album destined for cult status and forever consigned to the unattainable. Before you miss the opportunity to lay claim to your speculative investment, play this loud and free from the mundane aspects of the work day. After a couple of ales, and in the witching hours perhaps. Then the Roky Erickson-like primal utterances on tracks such as ‘Prance’ might be comprehensible, and maybe you might even detect the hooks buried beneath the persistent clamour and soundstage chicanery.

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