Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pretty Mess - Greyscale Broadcast CD Review

It would be so, so easy to start off this review by making some type of pun using the name of the band to describe the cd’s overall quality. It would be so simple to use “pretty” if the cd was good or “mess” if it was bad or even use a combination of the two if the cd was neither. Since I hate puns, that is a route I would rather not travel, but I will say that this release manages to fall into the third category—not too bad, but not very good either.

When making your way through this release, you’ll be very hard pressed to keep any interest in it whatsoever. After listening to the first few songs, you’ll have this band’s style nailed down and in realizing that they’re nothing more than a derivative of so many past light rock bands, the rest of the cd won’t do anything interesting enough to make you want to listen past those first few songs. By mixing your basic radio friendly light rock stylings with a fair dose of British rock influenced vocals, all the while imagining the band playing at a spoiled private college campus, you’ll have easily described Pretty Mess.

Greyscale Broadcast has a very dated feel to it, almost as if it was forgotten sealed away in a dank, musty cellar somewhere only to be let loose many years later, far after it was supposed to have been. I’m sure that if this disc would have been released in the late 90’s or early 00’s that it would have been huge, but for the most part, the audience of this type of watered-down, melodic rock has waned considerably. College campuses used to feed the melodic radio rock machine since it was seen as the answer to all of the crappy pop and rap that was on mainstream radio. That was in the late 90’s. Today’s college campuses have moved on to the greener pastures of artsy indie rock and bludgeoning metalcore as their answers to mainstream music. Much like an orphaned child, melodic rock in the vein of Semisonic, Blur, and Supergrass has been left abandoned by those who used to be the ones to embrace it.

All of this is not to say that Greyscale Broadcast is a bad cd or that melodic rock is dead. Neither is completely true. Greyscale Broadcast is a competent cd, but a boring one that is firmly planted in a genre that has been done to death and is far from enjoying the heyday it was years ago. If you are still clinging to your Train and Sister Hazel cds like a child to a pacifier, then by all means buy this cd. If you are like the majority of the people who used to take in this style of music, you’ve no doubt moved on, as well you should have since there has been very little of note in this genre over the last few years. Pretty Mess, unfortunately, aren’t going to be making the mark that they need to be successful.

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