PRETTY WILD – Pretty Wild

Pretty Wild - Pretty WildFor us Swedes who are into sleaze, glam and melodic hard rock, the name Pretty Wild has been showing up here and there on the scene for a few years now. Outside of Sweden – not so much. Anyway, Pretty Wild are a band that has been jumping on the trend of the resurrecting sleaze and melodic hard rock that Crashdïet more or less started back in the mid 2000’s. In their footprints, a lot of great bands have emerged – Crazy Lixx, Dynazty, Babylon Bombs, Sister Sin – all of them with different sounds, but the melodic term keeps them connected. On the other hand, when something blows up big, there’s always some really crappy bands without any form of identity bubbling in the wash of the big bang. I won’t name drop any of them, but what’s dragging this kind of music down are all the bandwagon jumpers – and there are lots and lots of them – with nothing more to show than big hair, tight spandex and some really cheesy and cliché lyrics, riffs and melodies. I have said it before – I don’t give a rat’s ass about originality as long as the songs are great – but an identity is a must, big difference there. Now, with Pretty Wild’s self titled album, you might be fooled to think that this is their debut album – I know I was – but apparently, they have already released one album, something that I have missed completely. The band stated out way back in 2006 with a different line up than today, released an e.p. called “All The Way”, nothing happened, but they rerecorded the album in 2009 with Martin Sweet (Crashdïet guitarist) producing and the CD got some good reviews from all over the hard rock community.

So in the backwater of many fine Swedish rock bands, Pretty Wild finally gets to release their first long player. But one can’t help to think that maybe they’re a few years too late. The glam / sleaze explosion has had its peak a long time ago and the bands that were involved then still has an audience, but I’m not sure there is a place for new bands in that genre. I mean, it is a pretty narrow genre and if you want to make an impression, then you’ll need something far out, something that are yours and yours alone, something to set you aside from the rest. Is that something that Pretty Wild can bring to the table? Well, it actually takes just one look at their cover to realise that is not the case here (Backyard Babies has already used the exact same idea). Also, the band’s name speaks against it. To be honest, Pretty Wild is a really crappy name. Yeah, yeah, don’t judge a book (record) by the cover and all of that – and sure, the album might be a real killer despite that, but the odds are against them from go. But if I have decided to listen, I will listen with an open mind and try to give them the old benefit. However, with opening track “Are U Ready” my pre-suspicions weren’t at all erroneous, quite the opposite as all my bias were laid open. The song tries every cliché, done a million times, in the book. Second track “Get It On” (see where this is going?) is catchy enough, but is forgotten the second the song ends. And a talk box? Come on already! And things get worse in “Troubled Water” – every riff, melody and lyric is just lacks all identity and is so redundant that I’m not sure I will abide any longer – and this is not me being insular.  This kind of stuff is what killed melodic hard rock the first time in 1992. But for a short while, things brighten up – the power ballad “All I Want” is really strong and hits strong with its catchiness. A hit to be, I’m sure. But good times doesn’t last long, I’m afraid. “Alive” is just another boring pop song right on the formula and then there’s “High Enough”. A Ballad. Ever heard of Damn Yankees, guys? Not only is the title the same as the old Damn Yankees hit, the chorus is pretty much the same as well. I hope Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw got some credits for that one. “Vampire” is so cheesy that to call it cheesy is an insult to cheese. It sounds like Crazy Lixx light on a bad day. With a hangover.

By that song I have more or less given up and the rest of the album becomes just a fast lane to get to the end of it. Still, it kinda kills me to slay the guys because I have a strong sense that they really love what they do and that they are giving it their best and that this might deter someone to get a hold of a copy of this album. And I will not give this album a 1/10 review because the album is well produced and the guys sure knows what they are doing as musicians. It’s just that this is so safe, so un-engaging, so smooth and there is not a trace of danger here. Where are the edges? Where’s the middle finger?  In my eyes, they look like they wanna rock hard, but the music tells a different story. In many ways, they feel like a Crashdïet light, both musically and image wise. I hate to say it, but this is exactly how glam / sleaze / melodic rock sounded when grunge killed it in the early nineties. Remember Roxy Blue? Southgang? Roxx Gang? Tuff? No? Well, there’s a reason for that. The new wave of melodic hard rock has reached its peak long ago and with a bland effort like this, my guess is that Pretty Wild will go down the same route of oblivion that said bands did. But you’re welcome to prove me wrong, guys.

Jon Wilmenius (4/10)

Tracklist:

1. Are U Ready?
2. Get It On
3. Troubled Water
4. All I Want
5. Alive
6. Staring At The Sun
7. High Enough
8. Ready To Go
9. Wildheart
10. Vampire
11. Blow The Night
12. Come Out Tonight
13. Hold On
14. Pretty Wild

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