February 8, 2021 The Pretty Reckless – Death By Rock And Roll (Album Review)
Exuding the passion and desire to make music on their own terms, New York City’s The Pretty Reckless are ready to deliver their brand new album, Death By Rock And Roll, set to drop on Friday, February 12, 2021 on Fearless Records.
One of the most popular acts in Rock today, The Pretty Reckless are a no none sense Rock-n-Roll band with all the tools to get to the top. A well oiled machine, The Pretty Reckless are lead by the astounding vocals of Singer Taylor Momsen, Guitarist Ben Phillips, Drummer Jamie Perkins, and Bassist Mark Damon. Over the course of their first four albums, The Pretty Reckless have been nothing short of successful. A prime example, the second Pretty Reckless album, 2014’s Going To Hell, spawned three No. 1 hits. This is height has not been reached by a female-fronted band since The Pretenders in 1984. Over the course of their career, The Pretty Reckless have scored a plethora of No. 1 singles and amassed a heavenly amount of critical acclaim while headlining sold out tours everywhere.
For all the good times, The Pretty Reckless have endured dark moments as well. As many know, Momsen is by far one of the biggest fans of Grunge legends Soundgarden. In 2017, Momsen and company got to live their dream when The Pretty Reckless toured alongside Soundgarden, opening shows for the icons across the United States. Tragically, on May 18, 2017, following a show in Detroit, Michigan, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell took his own life. This, along with the tragic death of their long time friend and producer, Kato Khandwala, devastated The Pretty Reckless. In his own words, Phillips commented: “It sent us into a downward spiral. We fell apart. It turned into a world of depression and substance abuse. At that point, we had to try and figure out how to continue making music. It was either death or go forward.”
Thankfully, Momsen and Phillips began turning emotion into song and in late 2018 The Pretty Reckless returned to the studio to record the follow up to 2016’s Who You Selling For. At the end of the day, The Pretty Reckless had turned twelve new tracks into their next album, defiantly titled Death By Rock And Roll. Back in Spring of 2020, The Pretty Reckless released the title track and debut single, “Death By Rock And Roll.” Another No. 1 smash, “Death By Rock And Roll” is the quintessential Rock track with a killer melody as Momsen’s sultry voice mums the lyrics “On my tombstone when I go, just put, ‘Death By Rock and Roll’.” Featuring Soundgarden Guitarist Kim Thayil, “Only Love Can Save Me Now” has all the slow, muddy luster of a Soundgarden tune while Momsen delivers the haunting lyrics oh so well.
Another special guest, Rage Against The Machine guitar hero Tom Morello joins The Pretty Reckless on “And So It Went.” In her most dark and powerful voice, Momsen shines on the track “25,” and transitions into a mellow state for the euphoric “Got So High.” A refreshing cut, “Witches Burn” is a Blues laden Rock song, think AC/DC, best performed in a smokey bar. Hitting home, The Pretty Reckless pen a touching ballad called “Standing At The Wall” where a lyric like “I am standing at the wall, it is high and I am small” just says it all. As if Death By Rock And Roll couldn’t feel any more alive, songs like “Rock And Roll Heaven” and “Harley Darling” are two of the most classic Rock-n-Roll tales to come around in a long time.
A heavy hitter, The Pretty Reckless’ Death By Rock And Roll is emotional, dark, and nostalgic with a burning light at the end of the tunnel. Giving it their all, The Pretty Reckless truly sound alive on Death By Rock And Roll and the overall emotion is really strong. Getting to the point, Death By Rock And Roll is by far the best Pretty Reckless album to date and maybe the best Rock album of 2021. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Death By Rock And Roll 5 out of 5 stars.