Catchy without being too sweet and frenetic without losing control, Pretty & Nice are forging a high-energy brand of fashionable rock and roll that sounds like Wire on anti-depressants or a more succinct Q & Not U. The foundation for their approach to song writing lies in the post-punk/new wave sound of the early 80’s but there is enough modern stylings here to separate this band from being a cliche throwback. The buzzsaw guitar tones jab in lockstep with the drums while falsetto vocals dance in the web, a web that upon listening to this band you might very well find yourself stuck in. Their sophomore album Get Young was released in 2008 to much critical praise and the convenience of having a recording studio in their basement can only mean that their next album is probably not too far off.
This show is a 7′ release party for The Toothaches who have recently moved from Boston to Brooklyn. This five-piece plays sugar-in-the-raw pop filtered through a plethora of instrumentation including glockenspiel, ukelele, trumpet, and keys. Also on the bill is the synth-laden pop of Math The Band and The Bynars. Strap on your dancing shoes and expect your beer to be perpetually half-full.
Q&A w/ Holden Lewis vocals/bass in Pretty & Nice
Q: A year after Pretty & Nice originally formed you decided to move from Burlington to Boston. What were some of the pros and cons when contemplating that decision?
A: I had gone to school here in Boston, so I knew a bunch about the area, the clubs, where to live, and some few things about the scenes here and what people were already doing. The idea that it was a new place for the band, but we weren’t entirely clueless about it made things really easy, it was just legwork figuring out where to move to really. The hardest part (logistically) of relocating P&N was that we wanted to have a studio in the house, so we had to find a place that we could afford that would also have enough space for a boatload of recording gear. One of the big reasons we wanted to move was to find new musicians to play with, as we felt the Burlington crowd wasn’t brimming with people we’d work well with. Boston definitely has more people moving here all the time, lots of musicians already around, and generally more people who are looking to do more than just play on the weekends for friends.
Q: In a past interview you stated, “… just the notion of writing a pop song today is ironic.” If that is the case, then at what exact point in the history of pop music did this happen? and why?
A: I think maybe that statement relates more to the indie rock culture or industry or whatever. Its definitely ironic that where people used to say pop to refer to the Beatles or the Knack, pop now means Britney Spears, bubblegum, gloss and whatever else is on tv. Aside from the aforementioned confusion that you get from those not in the know or whatever, Pop is just such a confusing genre and idea these days…
Q: What is the most flattering/sickening musician/band comparisons you have r eceived from fans, friends, family, press etc…?
A: A lot of younger people at shows have compared us to bands like the Killers or Arctic Monkeys, which is always astounding to us.
Q: You’re latest record Get Young was released on Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art. How has being on this label effected the bands success? and will you be staying with them for the next album?
A: Hardly Art/Sub Pop definitely carries a lot of clout, which is lent to us in that they signed us. Its put our music in SO many more ears than it would have without them and we’re super happy that they were able to do that for us. They’re also all really sweet folks and really easy to work with. We haven’t really talked much about the next album except about that we want to keep writing and recording a bunch, hopefully sooner than later.
Q: If you could play a show in Boston with 3 other local bands who would they be and at what Boston venue would you play?