The Pretty Reckless: lead singer carries the band on debut album

Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

The Pretty Reckless, a new rising act in alternative rock music, features influences of classic and hardcore rock.

Making its debut in 2009 when lead singer and rhythm guitarist Taylor Momsen was a mere 15-years-old, The Pretty Reckless began performing small gigs in bars and clubs, eventually earned a place playing at the Warped Tour 2010, propelling the band to a new level. Now, nearly two and a half years later, the band is following in the footsteps of other powerhouse names in alternative rock, like the female-led band, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  Success has earned them a place in on their own American tour opening up for big-name bands such as Evanescence.

Light Me Up, which has hardcore, metal, and alternative rock influences, should appeal to fans of Alice in Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, The Cure, and Green Day.

Momsen’s previous fame from her acting career (she portrayed Jenny Humprey on the CW series Gossip Girl) overshadows the other members of the band, which include Ben Phillips on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mark Damon on bass guitar, and Jamie Perkins on drums and percussion. The rest of the band is generally mediocre with only a couple standout songs on the album (“My Medicine”, “Since You’re Gone”). Their lack of originality and personality on the album make them easily replaceable.

Despite the unoriginality of the band members minus Momsen, Light Me Up does have some good tracks. “Since You’re Gone” is a hardcore, energetic anthem and the perfect “I am so better off without you”, is powerful and a wake-you-up song. Momsen’s grungy, screamy vocals and the strong percussion and instrumental backing make this track the best of the album.

The debut single, “Make Me Wanna Die”, released in March 2010, was a good first for the band, as it is a song that should appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. It is a great mix of pop and grunge with a catchy chorus.  The second single, “Just Tonight”, a slower song compared to the other songs on the album, is written with emotion and displays even greater emotion from Momsen’s vocals. The songs on the album are each unique and different from each other, which keeps audiences from being bored from the repetition of listening to the same general type of music over and over again.

Light Me Up may be the debut album of The Pretty Reckless, but Momsen is the band’s heart and soul. Her talent and originality compensates for the other band members mediocrity, making this album worth a listen. Give the band a chance, and listen to their record or go to one of their concerts – it will not be regretted.