We Scots like ‘value for money.’ Everybody does I guess, but we as a race have created our own stereotypical identity based on this fact. And with twenty tracks (yup – two, zero!) spanning one whole hour, this is exactly what we get with DIE PRETTY’s album, ‘Beyond Fate.’
I recall reviewing their ‘Battle Over Brooklyn’ EP last year and feeling suitably impressed, but wondering how they would fare over a longer effort. ‘Beyond Fate,’ the second full length album from the band provides the answer.
Twenty tracks is a bit of a daunting prospect. There’s the danger of it becoming a bit familiar, tedious even, in the latter stages. But I think DIE PRETTY manage to get away with it. How?
Well, I reckon (though I have no confirmation of this) that with so many songs at their disposal, some of these were written a good while ago. Consequently, there are two distinct sides to the music of DIE PRETTY, as indeed there are regards the vocal styles of Sarah Orloff.
Firstly there is the ‘Rock’ side and Sarah’s powerful voice roaming around a high range and sounding something like a combination of Amy Lee from Evanescence and the grittier Andrea Zollo from Pretty Girls Make Graves. This is most prevalent in the album opener, ‘Medicated Nation.’
And then there is the more ‘Punk’ side to the band’s style. Tracks such as ‘Girls And Boys’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’ have a more frenetic feel and frantic drumming while on ‘Paint It Red,’ the vocals and harmonies combined with this energetic backing create something akin to early Go Gos! My personal favourite though, ‘Knife, Bullet, Noose,’ is screamed and sneered in a manner that at points reminds me of Brody Dalle.
And let’s not forget the Country infused ‘7th Avenue.’ Well, it’s certainly not a ‘Country’ track’ but the guitar and galloping drums do give it a little tweak in that direction. The softer, more ballad type ‘Microphone’ also mixes things up a little as the album approaches the mid point.
In general the more ‘punk’ side to DIE PRETTY manifests itself in the second half of the album, and this I think is most definitely the stronger half.
My initial ‘fears’ were certainly allayed by the time I reached the end of ‘Beyond Fate.’ This is a pretty damn fine album – but it could have been two!
(Available now via the DIE PRETTY website)