Pretty Girls Make Graves 
Good Health
/lookout!; 2002/

rating : 8




more info : 

I don't think anything I can say will convince you to buy the album more efficiently than one listen to the album opener, Speakers Push the Air. It starts with a couple of keyboard lines which last approximately a couple of seconds and then hell breaks loose. This is punk rock. Not BoxcarRacer punk rock but intelligent and catchy punk rock.

Most of the "punk" records suck because of the so-called "punk ethic" which was invented to apologize for every misstep or definite lack of talent. Ok, the Sex Pistols only knew four chords, but they played them well. The guitar riffs in Good Health are reminiscent of At the Drive-In's complex tourette's syndrome guitar parts, in other words, complicated yet terribly catchy. Even though the songs are delicately crafted the band succeeds in making them sound outrageously spontaneous. The dynamics are really impressive, everything fits together perfectly and, well, there's the singer. She (yes! a girl!) sings her lines with a disarming conviction and, to be fair, punk rock is never better than when it is sung by girls. Shhhh. You know I'm right. 

So, all the songs (but one) are great. The lyrics are about being sad and stuff, no politics, thank god. Speakers Push the Air is an incredibly catchy ode to music ("do you remember what the music meant to me?") and its follower, If You Hate Your Friends, You're not Alone is definitely not as good. By far the weakest song on the album. Sad Girls Por Vida is really really good. It features impressive drums, clever guitar riffs and kick-ass background vocals. The lyrics are quite basic but they work wonderfully. The next song, The Get Away, which is basically about running away from home and never coming back, is the epic center piece of the album, the verses are melodic and uplifting, contrasting perfectly with the lyrics ("and she's sad/and she's sad/ i never want to go home") and the chorus is somehow heavier. More Sweet Soul with its oppressive guitar riff is a killer "don't tell me/tell me what i already know." The verse sounds post punk la Gang of Four with its massive bass rhythm backed with clean yet aggressive guitars. The fantastic Ghost in the Radio, Bring it On Golden Pond and By the Throat make the album end just like it started. Ok, it's short (less than thirty minutes) but this is the best punk record I've heard in a long time.

-Barbara H

/sept 1st 2002/