See Pretty by No Pop is punk revival reminiscent of the Pixies fused with a slight softness like Yo la Tengo. Ironic guitar riffs that bellow in and out with slight breaks for vocals bring an eclectic sound. For a punk album, it is quite listener friendly. The female vocals really add that creamy pink Pepto Bismol soothing like sound. Starting out with “Love-y-Love” you get that fusion of shrapnel mixed with strawberry Bubbalicious bubblegum feeling.
The album then moves into the heavier song entitled "All Friends" which repeats again and again that "All my friends are dead and gone." This song seems to be an honest ballad that hosts the pain that comes along with losing friends to death. It is not an easy subject to handle, and this song is quite cathartic in its driving volcanic drumming and guitar string stretching smoking guitar riffs. The listener can feel the pain in this song and it is definitely easy to relate.
The next ditty on the album "O, TV" brings back that Pixies sound again that we all love. The drumming and guitar fuse together in a bit of divine chaos and then relinquish into a more spaced out dream like space. Here, the female vocals and high octave guitar riffs dance gently around together like floating bubbles in an empty vacuum. This song, and much of the album, has low roaring and punk screaming, or as I like to say it, they are just clearing their throats. The vocal stylings are succinct though and not too over the top because there is plenty of actually singing in the album as well.
The next song up is "Ping Pong." This song seems to refer to the game of cancer, the back and forth of dealing with the disease. Another tough subject to speak about, this band seems to nail the balance between being honest and releasing pain with still being enjoyable to listen to and take lightly. Next up, “New World Bomb Spirituality.” This song speaks about the New World Order and how it is taking over the world. Short and sweet, this song leaves no room for dreamy moments. It is purely a strongly driven piece with the whole band being in sync singing together in a symphony of soft screaming. It is almost like a yell whisper.
The album ends with the song “Talk Trauma.” This one brings back the gorgeous female vocals and space like place where there is more creativity going on than simply a hard driven punk song with a strong message. This song even has elements of the classic Surfer Rosa song “Bone Machine.”
It is quite evident that the Pixies had much to do with the influence of this album. Me, as a huge Pixies fan, am quite excited about this. Sometimes they tend not to go off into their own style completely though and retract back to the safe knowledge that anything Pixie sounding is going to pass as brilliant. I do however appreciate the content of the album and the degree of listener friendliness that it presumes. It is both gnarly and gorgeous. The female vocals really do ice the cake on this one. Her angelic voice brings a necessary sweetness and the listener looks forward to hearing it.
The band seems to all speak the same language and no one element seems to stick out more than the other. They all share a foreground. Talented drummer and guitarist do a good job at weaving in and out of each other in their expressions. They hold space for one another and they also come together side by side and create some amazing body moving, head nodding, feet jumping rhythms. I would like to hear more songs with the female vocalist in the next album; I think she is the See Pretty part. But for now this one is great and I highly recommend it.
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