Monday, May 30, 2016
EP Review :: Pretty Vicious - Cave Song
June 17 2016 (Virgin EMI)
Words: Kenny Davies
'Cave Song' is the first official EP release from the young teenage Merthyr Tydfil wastrels, and although the title track has been around since the end of 2014 it has been re-recorded for the EP. On first listen you might not hear any difference but after touring extensively and playing lots of festivals in 2015 the band have grown into a fearsome live act and it has rubbed off onto the recordings. This time around 'Cave Song' has some more meat to its bones and that comes in the form of Brad Griffiths (vocals) and Tom McCarthy's guitars, the latter is more present in the choruses and gives the song a fuller and more powerful sound. Add in Jarvis Morgan's meaty bass lines and Elliot Jones' relentless machine gun-like drumming and you have a loud wall of sound that sets the scene for the rest of the EP.
'Down My Way' starts off subdued and slow with lines like "this town is greyer than the roads", before some short sharp guitar and bass kick in and the song explodes into life in true Pretty Vicious style. Vocally creating visions of trying to find happiness in a place you hate, about wanting to leave the town you're in as Brad howls "leave it all behind". Next up, 'Ambien' sees the band in full Pearl Jam mode, the first minute is a pure attack to the senses with a great guitar hook and pounding bass and drums. Sitting on top of the wall of sound are some raw emotions being sung; "this empty space within my chest/where no love is left" and "I hate you when you smile" make for a bleak landscape, but coupled with the ever present evil guitar hook and the thunderous backing from the drums and bass, make this one of the band's most accomplished songs to date.
Closer 'Black and Blue' starts off with some despair and desperate words which lead to Brad screaming "he kicks us in our heads" and is probably their heaviest song yet. Like the previous tracks it best showcases what the band are all about live. Flowing through the song are some great guitar licks and a heavy bass line that perfectly accompanies the powerful and sometimes violent drumming, which is what this song is - violent. And just when you think the song is finished, there's one last guitar solo and an all out musical assault.
They may be young but Pretty Vicious have the fire, skill and desire to take on all comers.