Papa vs Pretty
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Papa vs Pretty

Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia | MAJOR

Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia | MAJOR
Band Alternative Rock




"Papa vs Pretty, United in Isolation 4.5 stars"

Papa Vs Pretty's debut record is so good -
both in the writing and the raw, thrilling way it
makes you feel - that the band deserve every
superlative and lofty comparison thrown their
way. They sound like an army and may be the
next Silverchair, but they've skipped all the way
to Neon Ballroom.
From the charging opening 'Life's Got A Hold
On Me', which pummels drums and vocals into
your ears harder than any major label effort of
the last five years, through to the phenomenal
choruses of 'Look For Me' and 'Conquistador:
this record is orchestrated and aurally mapped
to perfection. The hooks get deep inside and
stay there without needing to revert to simple
four-chord, cycle-of-fifths pop. Just take 'Honey;
which both in tone and composition could belong
to The Bends-era Radiohead, but veers in an
entirely different direction with the late inclusion
of an earth-shattering guitar solo that recalls the
heyday of glam.
Frontman Tom Rawle is an absolutely peerless
performer. Vocally gifted and shredding his axe
like a pro across the album, he works off his
enviably talented rhythm section to drop songs
like cluster bombs. Exquisitely moody in places
- particularly the hammering 'Charity Case'
and pared-back ballad 'I Felt Nothing' - United
Australian rock mAy have lost
Iwo of their rrinst long-serving
gmups In the peat twelve
rrianthS, but Papa Va Pretty
have the future stitched up.
in isolation is nonetheless a joyous record;
it celebrates the power of music created by
passionate, uninhibited musicians. Whether it's
the dexterous drummer Tom Myers providing
pitch-perfect harmonies acmes 'Darkest Way or
bass player Angus Gardiner arranging the epic
string backing on 'Look For bk4 the talent and
scope is all here.
Jonno Seidler - The Brag

"Papa vs Pretty, United in Isolation 3 stars"

A combination of the post-grunge
revival (the second coming of those
who got loud but didn’t get sludgy)
and Thomas Rawle’s anguished
tenor voice inevitably sees Sydney
trio Papa vs Pretty comparedwith
Radiohead, or at least Radiohead
somewhere between their first two
albums,when emotion battledwith
the dominantNirvana guitar format.
CertainlyOne of the Animals – ‘‘It’s
my last chance to feel one of the
animals,’’ Rawle howlswith
some urgency bordering on
desperation – and the soft/loud
Charity Case tick a lot of 1995 boxes.
You can seewhy they got signed,
though not necessarilywhy you
need get too excited.
By the time you get to a track such
as Bitter Pill near the end of their
debut album, however, this band
begin to showmore daring than the
first half of the record suggests.
Rawle trembles in a slightly higher
voice and there’s a touch of choral
backing, plus a ramping up of
flamboyant guitar all theway to a
solo that practically demandswe all
don big curlywigs. Someone’s not
afraid of someQueen action.
Either side of the pivotal Bitter
Pill,DarkestWay kicks up the power
pop,makingmelody as important
as thrust,while Suit&Burn takes
some showymetallic sci-fi angles.
The clumsily titled closer, You Are
Not in Love Anymore, tries to
balance all three of its predecessors’
qualities and suddenly you’re awake
to this band’s possibilities. - Sydney Morning Herald

"Papa vs Pretty, Redcoats, I Know Leopard Annandale Hotel 24/06/2011"

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Papa Vs Pretty at the
moment. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s genuine
excitement about a great new band and what’s just
industry fuelled hype designed to score a band some
recognition. With this young Sydney three-piece, it’s
clear that this is the real thing.
Adelaide expats I Know Leopard opened the night.
After a move to Sydney and a name change (they used
to be Former Child Stars), the band played indie rock
with a defi nite Brit-rock infl uence. There were shades of
Maximo Park, Editors and Kasabian but the songs never
really stood out, although some of that may have been
due to the poor sound quality.
Melbourne quartet Redcoats was a much more
exciting prospect. Led by the commanding presence
of Emilio Mercuri, the band traded on a sound that
had a rumbling throb and hum to it. Deep stoner
grooves were given added oomph by Mercuri’s lithe and
sultry frontman moves at the mic. It was nice to see a
frontman with a little Jim Morrison in him after years of
indie rockers being anchored to the mic by their guitar.
Thomas Rawle, the 20-year-old frontman of Papa Vs
Pretty, may have been anchored to his mic by a guitar,
but the youngster was anything but boring. Already the
singer has developed a pretty strong stage presence,
but it was his guitar playing that was most impressive.
The three-piece played songs from their debut album
United In Isolation and when these songs were taken
out for a run live, they took on a whole new dynamic.
For a band barely out of their teens, the three were
impressively tight. The rhythm section – Tom Myers and
Gus Gardiner – was as locked in as they’re ever going to
need to be, giving Rawle the chance to really let loose
with some crazy shredding. Though Rawle has obviously
spent a lot of time honing his guitar soloing skills, he
rarely lets it overpower the other instruments, giving the
songs a very balanced but full sound.
There were a lot of genuine reasons to get excited about
Papa Vs Pretty and this felt like the start of many years
of seeing this band selling out venues.
Danielle O’Donohue - The Drum Media Sydney


Still working on that hot first release.



Papa Vs Pretty are young, but that’s not why you know them. They’re gifted, they’re genuine, they’re gutsy.

The band evolved when Thomas Rawle recorded hundreds of demos in his bedroom, but it all clicked when two equally talented others saw strength in what was brewing. Angus Gardiner came to the party with skills on bass and a wealth of classical music knowledge and Tom Myers proved a rhythmical force to be reckoned with – securing a three piece that got Sydney talking.

Grabbing the attention of Triple J, street press and the interwebs alike – they also scored several support slots for bands such as The Temper Trap, Phoenix, Silversun Pickups and Surfer Blood, a handful of festival slots (Big Day Out, St Jeromes Laneway Festival, Parklife and Pyramid Rock) and upon hitting the age of 18, released a self titled EP in 2009 through EMI.

In August 2010 the band released Heavy Harm, an EP produced by Paul Dempsey, scoring high rotation across Triple J and community radio and then talk kept coming. They’ve gigged the Sydney scene many times over, and with their well honed and potent live show graduated to a couple of national tours with the Howling Bells, Paul Dempsey and more recently a double headline with Brisbane locals Last Dinosaurs.

For their first full length release United In Isolation, Papa VS Pretty returned to Big Jesus Burger studios, surrounding themselves with several old hands who helped shape this acutely energetic, authentic and heartfelt collection of songs into a cohesive record. Paul McKercher (You Am I, Augie March, Sarah Blasko) produced, and the album was mixed by Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Silverchair,The Sleepy Jackson).

It’s powerful, it’s punchy but above all else it’s honest. Rawle describes this as having hints of a concept album – a realisation that the tracks in many ways depict the cyclical nature of human interaction as seen through a rather heightened self awareness. “The album works in an arc too, almost like a relationship, it starts out with an immense amount of energy "Life's Got A Hold On Me", optimistic in the middle with songs like "Honey" then conquest "Conquistador" - one half always wins. ‘I Felt Nothing’ for falling out of love, then it ends with ‘You Are Not In Love Anymore’, which is pretty self explanatory I would hope!”

The first single off the record, One Of the Animals is currently on rotation at Triple J and a national tour is in the works for June / July of this year to coincide with the release.