Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Pretty Faces "Another Sound"

A trio of Thorslunds from Canada who modestly refer to themselves as The Pretty Faces are trying to be more than just a face in the crowd with their latest CD, "Another Sound". By some measure they are successful - the hot pink packaging will surely grab your eyeballs. Their sophomore effort just debuted at #163 on CMJ and helping the band secure notable gigs as they embark on a tour, such as a lot at the International Pop Overthrow Festival on November 5.

I like the perky beat and oldies song structure that embodies lead off track "Right On The Money", which is instantly catchy and gives high hopes for the rest of the CD. Sad to say, but nothing that followed seemed to reach the bar set by the opening tune. "Rib" comes close, sounding more like modern indie pop, but this is where Jeph Thorslund's vocal limitations begin to rear its ugly head. He's got the heart and a good instinct for where to go vocally, but he often sounds out of pitch and has some cringe-worthy moments when reaching up to the limit of his vocal range. Add to that the fact that most of these songs are melodiously nondescript and you have a record that generates as much excitement as a tax form. However, Hannah Thorslund takes the mic on "Elephant" and temporarily saves the day with one of her songs...not that it is a great song, but compared to the others it stands out in a big way - it is the elephant in the room.

If you want to check out some Pretty Faces, start with "Right On The Money" or "Elephant". Imagine a cross between the Jim Carroll Band and Plain White T's - in fact, "Yellow Highway Lights" could be their "Hey There Delilah".

iPOD-worthy: 1, 5, 7

The Pretty Faces on MySpace. Official site.

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