Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New Romance - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pretty Girls Make Graves - The New Romance

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2004-08-30

On The New Romance, Pretty Girls Make Graves deliver a spiky form of post-punk indie rock intended to confound expectations. Continually breaking any groove they create, they rely on the jerky, piercing, intertwining guitars of Nathan Thelen and J Clark to snake their way into your consciousness. It doesn't really work--too often the music seems directionless and self-consciously arty. Of course, strong melodies might have saved the day, as they have with many of PGMG's north-western predecessors, but it's in this department that the band are most severely lacking, with only "Holy Names", "All Medicated Geniuses" and "A Certain Cemetery" being remotely memorable.

Indeed, the band only really impress with the juddering, piano-heavy pop rock of the closing "A Certain Cemetery", the only time they seem confident and conjure true spiritual power. Until that point you get the feeling that though they all want to be in a band they're not sure which one. The thought that Pretty Girls Make Graves feature an ex-member of Murder City Devils is naturally exciting--MCD were, after all, Seattle's finest export since the grunge revolution. Unfortunately, the member concerned is neither singer Spencer Moody nor keyboardist Leslie Hardy but bassist Derek Fudesco and PGMG are a world away from his illustrious former outfit. --Dominic Wills

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