Gig Seeker Pro


New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pretendo ][ Review by Rick Anderson"

Few bands as stylistically unfocused as Pretendo sound anywhere near as good and as exciting as Pretendo. Sometimes the band's lack of focus sounds willful and mischievous, as on the egregiously ironic Casiotone beat and weedy vocal of "Lee." Sometimes it comes across as a stroke of genius, as on the complexly organized "Brawny Says," which starts out in a Weezer-ish midtempo rocker mode, then lapses into a Latin-inflected chorus, then gradually builds in intensity before flowering into a rocking spaghetti western soundtrack; the Latin beat reasserts itself on the out chorus, and it all hangs together much more effectively than you can imagine from reading about it. And then sometimes the attack sharpens into brilliant post-new wave rock, as on the hooky "Cynthia," the jaggedly funky but subtly catchy "Angsti Nervosa," and the tritone-based guitar solo on "A Smoking Pipe to Dance." One of the songs is downright hilarious without sounding really jokey -- "Mandy, I Mean, Mindy" pokes gentle fun at every cloddish guy who has ever forgotten the name of a female acquaintance. Overall, this is possibly the best rock album ever to boast an average song length of more than five minutes. - AMG

"Pretendo Review by Rick Anderson"

Guitarist/singer Devon E. Levins and bassist/singer John Castro managed somehow to emerge from their time in the decidedly weird DaoSon For with their pop smarts intact, and thank heaven for that. Now playing as a trio with drummer Stephen Calhoon, Levins and Castro deal in sharp, tight guitar pop that jerks at times like Gang of Four and shudders at times like Mission of Burma, but always keeps its feet on the ground and its hooks in your head. Notice, for example, how the Andy Gill-style slash-and-kill guitar part at the beginning of "Samurai Sessions" gives way to a shout-along chorus before then giving way to Roger Miller-style tone clusters. Notice also how "Cherry Tomatoes" manages somehow to sound like both the early Cure and middle-period Wall of Voodoo. And how the bassline to "Scorpion" sounds like it was lifted directly from Joy Division, while the drum part sounds like it was lifted directly from a James Brown album. Yeah! Then there's the very last track, which is not listed on the program, but offers five minutes of pure (if twisted) pop pleasure. Country Club is a small label, but this album is well worth whatever effort it may take to find it. - AMG

"Pretendo Review by Bishop"

Pretendo's greatest achievement is their ability to land the perfect vocal line. Every song has singable, catchable phrases and harmonies that vastly makeup for any perceived shortcomings this band may have. They have mastered the rock-out sections of their songs, maintaining every bit of energy that the band puts forth. While the material isn't brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, the songs pull off different moods and feels while throwing in the occasional whimsical carefree vibes.
Sound-wise they are harder to pinpoint, sometimes I hear strains of The Cure, sometimes I catch the briefest glimpse of Devo, but always with a groove that is undeniable. Failing to describe them is only a compliment to the sound they do create, as it is utterly theier own. Also a credit to the band is the way that the album slowly evolves, such that the material varies nicely across the record, not really repeating themselves. Even the slightly off-key vocals on certain songs lend themselves to the aura the band displays.

So if you like good vocal/guitar driven rock, Pretendo is definitely something you should look for and get.

-bishop - Hybrid Music


Pretendo - Self titled LP
Copper Press - cp23 sampler
Pretendo - ][



Consisting of members who have done time with Enon, Skeleton Key, Mono Puff, the DaoSon For, Creedle, A Lesser Dog, The Rugburns, Rust, and Morricone Youth, the N.Y.C. trio Pretendo are a minor supergroup that spouts out loud and tense rootsy indie rock with all the rawness of Mission of Burma or Superchunk. Teetering away from the strange experimentalism that propelled their prior projects, their songs are straightforward, albeit slightly angular and atonal, and the veterans are decidedly more in tune with the craft of constructing the perfect indie rock song, hook and all. John Castro and Devon E. Levins met as kids, and got their musical starts as teenagers in Las Vegas punk band aBeyance. Both moved to San Diego and played in separate bands before traveling to New York to form Morricone Youth and later the DaoSon For. They met Steve Calhoon, who had been drummer for Skeleton Key, a band known for its off-the-wall junkyard percussion sound, and had played drums on Enon's Believo! album. After Castro and Levins bribed him with some rare bootleg tapes to join the band, in 2005 the trio recorded its self-titled album, Pretendo. A year later, they started a six-month analog recording session for ][ (pronounced "two") with producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Helmet), released in 2007.

INFLUENCES: devo, gang of four, buzzcocks, undertones, the pixies, slint, bastro, can, faust, neu, velvet underground, xtc, mission of burma, the cars, wire, joy division, new order, television, the damned, masada, miles davis, john coltrane, herbie hancock, joe castro, chuck jackson, edwin starr, pitchfork, aminiature, lalo schifrin, ennio morricone, magma, black flag, minutemen, braniac, de la soul, a tribe called quest, zombies, kraftwerk, talking heads...