Label: Razor & Tie / Cooking Vinyl 2014
Review by Rich Dillon
New York band The Pretty Reckless issued their sophomore album, Going to Hell, back in March 2014. The debut, Light Me Up, garnered some commercial success spawning three singles in 2010 and now Taylor Momsen returns with her band four years later. Momsen follows a long tradition of actors turned musicians having starred on TV’s Gossip Girl as Jenny Humphrey among several other roles throughout her career. After deciding to leave acting for the time being to focus on her music we find her joined by Ben Phillips (guitars), Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums) in The Pretty Reckless.
The cover art, Momsen’s naked back decorated with a black cross and arrow pointing to her ass, was inspired by the Pink Floyd poster with nude women sitting on the edge of a pool with album covers on their backs. During the recording of the record the studio was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy forcing the band to rerecord a lot of the material. The album opens with “Follow Me Down” including a woman moaning as the intro. The song is an upbeat rocker with a chorus that evokes thoughts of the bayou. The title track, “Going to Hell”, has some great guitar work and chorus, but “Heaven Knows”, called a Queen rip-off can’t hold my interest. “House on a Hill” is a slower number and frankly a bit of a sleeper. “Sweet Things” picks up the pace a little, but is just a generic composition and the 56 second “Dear Sister” rather pointless. Going to Hell does not improve and after a couple of listens this is not really my style of rock and sounds too much like a dozen other bands. There are some good riffs and compositions but a little too much of the modern rock/alternative flare for my particular tastes.