Pretty Girls Make Graves The New Romance

[Matador; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: indie rock, garage rock
Others: Blood Brothers, Raveonettes, The Kills

The buzz after the release of Pretty Girls Make Graves debut album Good Health was extremely perplexing and outright disturbing to me. Yes, this record was extremely catchy and annoyingly subtle as I spent my future days after one listen to the album with my head enveloped by its songs and melodies. But overall, PGMG’s debut was more hype than talent, churning out great songs that only seemed overly hard to produce and deliver. Each song was downright playful and I found myself strongly driven by the urge to sing them out loud without conviction or embarrassment.

Pretty Girls Make Graves’ sophomore release is expectedly identical to their debut. The New Romance provides another group of songs that will sweep you off your feet and have you mouthing all of the lyrics like you were performing in your high school talent show and you were determined to win. Heck, I even tested the record with my children and had them dancing and gallivanting like ‘damn dirty apes’ before the third song reached its chorus. But what is evident on The New Romance and what will become a critic’s judgment and evaluation will be how long PGMG’s will be able to continue with this musical delivery and performance before someone realizes that what is being produced and executed is extremely linear and analogous. Their heart is truly in it but have they got what it takes to develop their career further, accumulating their talent and accomplishments and escalating growth and maturity.

The New Romance does grow slightly from their debut with great songs like “All Medicated Geniuses” and “Chemical Chemical” but the development curve is very insignificant throughout the album. Overall, PGMG’s sophomore release is somewhat disappointing; and yet, as I sit and write this review, I can’t seem to get their songs out of my head. A small victory for Pretty Girls Make Graves? Perhaps, but remember, people need change. It seems to be ‘the new romance’ in today’s fast-paced society.

1. Something bigger, something brighter
2. The grandmother wolf
3. Mr. Club
4. All medicated geniuses
5. Blue lights
6. Chemical, chemical
7. 7
8. The teeth collector
9. Holy names
10. The new romance
11. This is our emergency
12. A certain cemetery