Melbourne four piece The Pretty Littles are a relatively new band on the scene, deploying a rich, fuzzy rock sound reminiscent of bands such as The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The White Stripes and New Zealand’s D4 right back to seminal garage bands like The Stooges, MC5 and Australia’s own Radio Birdman and The Saints. In other words, the best kind of unholy racket there is! At times, the band sound like they’ve been living in Melbourne’s legendary Cherry Bar, sustaining on a diet of great rock throughout the ages and probably a healthy amount of bourbon that can go with it.
Lead singer Jack Parsons has a very striking and highly versatile range as a singer. Soft and melodic one minute, sounding like he’s been gargling bourbon and sandpaper the next, he is a great frontman for what is a very promising band on the new music front in Australia.
Apart from the louder sonic elements of The Pretty Littles, the band, on their latest five track EP, Fairweather, produced by Big Scary main man Tom Isanek, and recorded in two and a half days, convey a real sense of energy and spontaneity that shines through in the finished product. As anyone familiar with Big Scary and their wonderfully schizophrenic melding of sound would know, Isanek really has a talent for getting compelling sounds out of what he puts his mind to on a musical level. This has definitely been the case with The Pretty Littles.
The EP can swing between raucous tracks like “Minge” and “Tread Careful”, tracks that were almost designed to be played loud late at night in a residentaial area. This contrasts beautifully with a track like “Two Cents”, displaying a great sense of maturity and variation as to where the band are coming from musically.
Tone Deaf’s Neil Evans recently spoke to Jack Parsons, guitarist and lead singer of The Pretty Littles.
“The band formed in its current form in 2009. Before that, I got started with friends in regards to music in Year 12, jamming and playing guitar, writing songs and that kind of stuff,” begins Parsons. “On a serious level, we’ve been playing as The Pretty Littles for the past two years.”
“Musically, I was really inspired a few years ago by The Vasco Era. Seeing these three guys on stage making the biggest noise and the crowd absolutely going nuts in response was the closest I’ve ever had to a musica epiphany. That was one of those moments when I thought that music was what I want to do with my life.”
“That rough, raw and immediate sound in music has always appealed to me,” continues Parsons. “Bands such as Big Scary and The White Stripes, with where they take sound and melody, is something I’ve always found compelling in regards to music. I’ve wanted to work with Tom from Big Scary for a while simply because all of us in the band are big fans, hence his production on the lastest EP.”
“The most important thing with rock music is not to be pretentious. I really don’t have time for the ‘theatrics’ and diva attitudes you encounter sometimes in music whether they be on a personal or musical level,” Parsons says. “The idea of playing unpretentious, accessible music that hopefully people like is what my strongest belief is, and hopefully with The Pretty Littles, that’s what we do.”
Parsons and his bandmates have a very instinctive and spontaneous approach to their music and, especially, live shows. “Simon [Boyd], our guitarist, is a genius in regards to science. He’s probably going to end up working for NASA one day. Due to what he does when not playing with the band, he travels a lot and can be a bit hard at times to pin down. As as result, we don’t really practice that much. When we do play live together, that to us is the equivalent of three or four practice sessions. Admittedly, sometimes we have absolutely awful shows, especially when we first started playing together. Other times, they can be fantastic and really beneficial.”
“We’ve managed some great support slots over the past year or so. Playing with the Vasco Era really was a dream come true. That night was a bit nerve wracking, as Simon couldn’t play that night. We played as a three piece and had one of our best shows. Children Collide was another fantastic support for us. They are a band I’ve always loved, and was an absolute treat to tour with them,” says Parsons.
So what does the future hold for this highly promising up and coming Melbourne band? “We’d like to build more of a following, especially on a live front, over the next few years. We’d love to record a few more EP’s and build confidence as a band before we tackle a full length album,” said Parsons.
– Neil Evans.
Fairweather is out now.