Review: The Pretty Reckless – Who You Selling For?
The Pretty Reckless
Who You Selling For
Razor & Tie/Cooking Vinyl Australia
There’s a certain type of sadness that hits everyone from time to time – a hopeless gloom that plagues the lost, the heartbroken and the just plain fucking empty. There’s the being kicked down and the getting back up; the crying in cabs in a city that isn’t home. That’s a feeling The Pretty Reckless know all too well, and their third studio album, Who You Selling For, is the kind of record that’ll get you to the other side of it.
It’s a typically hard rock affair that’s fronted by the incredibly upstanding Taylor Momsen, who grittily voices a cathartic outpouring. Heavier, faster tracks have the effect of empowerment, even when they’re spitting out flaws, as Momsen underpins “Oh My God” with declarations like, “I wish I was thin”. That track, like “Prisoner”, is the brand of song that makes you stand a little taller when you’re walking down the street. But there’s also a musical flipside to the concepts prior explored, as the ballad-like “The Devil’s Back” re-visits the sentiment with, “Remember when you were skinny” – a lyric and song better suited to when you get home after a long week and finally break down. If it’s the early hours of the morning and you’re feeling melancholy, see the title track and the sombre “Bedroom Window” for support.
Even though this is a solid album, sonically – gliding through experiments with blues and soul, through solos, fierce drums and long epics – at the end of the day, it derives its value moreso from its raw, emotional intensity than simply the fact that it’s a mature rock offering. What feels important is the way that it manages to project a personality that’s vulnerable, yet inspirationally strong, the musical manifestation of how you feel when you’re tough enough to walk away from something that’s bad for you, but remain stuck grieving its loss. To the young girls looking for a role model, dear the declining hard rock scene, please direct your attention to Who You Selling For and the fierce, fighting female at its forefront.