Pretty and Nice
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Pretty and Nice

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde

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"Pittsburgh City Paper Hot List"

"If the Ramones were a punk band trying to play bubblegum pop, Pretty and Nice could be a post-punk band trying to play similar summery jingles. Fortunately for this foursome from Burlington, VT, the results sound more like amped-up surf rock mixed with glitchy dance beats and opening themes for teenybopper B-movies." - Pittsburgh City Paper


"Weirdo Riffers"

Snotty poppers Pretty & Nice are at least one of those things

story by Mike Powell


Boston’s Pretty & Nice are four guys jammed in an E-150 conversion van—a typical sitcom setup for charming depravity, homoerotic pranks and dude stench. But Pretty & Nice keep everything pretty clean. “There’s actually a built-in mini-vac!” singer and guitarist Holden Lewis says. “One morning, Andy [Contois, bassist], had to throw up. He was really polite about it. I mean, he sat up, said very calmly that we needed to pull over, got out and walked away… I mean, we went apple-picking after our show in Vermont a few weekends ago. And had an apple crisp bake-off.”

The band’s self-released debut, 2006’s Pink And Blue—mainly about “girls and boys,” says Holden—is a hash of XTC and Squeeze by turns swooning and bitter, poppy and discordant. The band’s get-and-go lends a gleam to the routine. "Lazy Lazy Bumblebee" skewers ennui ("I don't wanna be so sad/Just wanna lay around in bed and think about nothing, la di da di da/Just to be sarcastic," Holden inexplicably affecting a fake British accent—"saw-cah-stick"), while on "Busy Bees," they do their best Mission Of Burma impression, Holden pining for total nonsense—"a gun who tells time”—like his heart would burst if he didn’t.

The group’s self-assured panic has earned nice comparisons and tangible support, including shared stages with Enon, whose frontman, John Schmersal, has championed Pink And Blue. And like any tidy, contemporary rock band trying to make a dent, they’ve released a "gay dance remix" EP—the ponderous Blue And Blue (“The world is a gay club,” adds guitarist Jeremy Mendicino, “if you want it to be”)—and have a table full of handsome T-shirts. "Handsome like a purple knight," says Mendicino. "We definitely sold T-shirts to a bunch of 16-year-olds from Philly on the Jersey Shore. They’d never even heard of us. And we swore we'd include all of their names in a song. Which we will do—if we ever find the list of their names." - Paper Thin Walls


"Pink & Blue Review"

"Pretty & Nice is a band that has deftly blended the minimalist yet harmonic sounds of the whole indie wave along with surf rock and power-pop. There's wit in the lyrics and hooks hanging from the guitars trolling a sonic sea of fuzz.

This album launches pretty hard with "Fortress," a track driven by deft maneuvers of the fret board but follows up with fun on "Lazy Lazy Bumblebee," and then brings a bit of a mellow dance beat on "Hey Hey Come On." And those are really just the first three tracks. The rest of the CD follows the formula set by the first three tracks, and it all seems like an experiment gone terribly right. For people who like to be on top of their up-and-coming bands, Pretty & Nice are sure to lend you some sweet indie cred, that is until they explode into the spotlight."
(Ryan Brosmer) - Verbicide (www.verbicidemagazine.com)


"Caring is Knowing Review"

"Caring is Knowing kicks off with "Sean O'Malley," a quirky pop number from Boston-by-way-of-Burlington rockers Pretty and Nice. Featuring strummed guitars and a wonderfully foppish vocal performance, the tune is wicked fun."
(Casey Rea) - Seven Days (www.sevendaysvt.com)


"Pink & Blue Review"

"Indie-rock quartet Pretty & Nice might not live up to their moniker, but they’re a striking band nonetheless. For the last couple of years, they’ve mined the depths of post-punk, sorting through several decades of skittish guitar rock. Now they’ve resurfaced with Pink & Blue, their remarkable full-length debut.

Unlike many of their image-obsessed peers, P&N actually write interesting songs. Gang of Four and The Jam are obvious reference points, but the group is also versed in surf-rock, power-pop and electro. I’m frankly burned out on “angular guitars” and cheeky self-awareness. Yet somehow this disc works, and brilliantly.

“Fortress” kicks things off with stabbing chords and a falsetto vocal melody. It’s hardly the best song on the record, but it’s got a certain frolicsome charm.

“Lazy Bumblebee” is a bizarre pop wonder, full of quirky tension and smug assurance. “I don’t wanna be so sad / I just wanna lay around in bed and think about nothing,” P&N sing in what can only be described as a gay Cockney accent. If Morrissey and Dick Van Dyke’s chimneysweep started a band, it’d likely sound like this.

An aside: My promo copy of Pink & Blue came sheathed in an old computer floppy disc. I found the package both pretty and nice.

Back to the music. “Stop/Start” pits tribal drums against minimalist riffs in full-out tug-of-war. The song’s coda features agitated guitars and bass that are subsequently swallowed in a chasm of feedback. Curiously, it’s all rather catchy.

“Grammaphone” takes a page out of the Dischord Records playbook. The song’s slightly distorted vocals are buried in instrumental jitter that doesn’t let up until the thrashing finale.

P&N indulge in quirky electro fantasies on “Speedboats.” Besides the digitally warped percussion, the tune features my favorite guitar work on the album. Slashing riffs and icy arpeggios shore up vocals about interpersonal tension: “She’d love to see him bleed / He’d love to see her plead / He’d love to fill her need / But there are too many mouths to feed,” they chirp.

Herky-jerky jangle is the chief concern of “Busy Bees,” while “Georgia Belle,” with its baroque melodies and jazzy drum fills, sounds like a lost Zombies cut.

Album closer “Sea Legs” features foamy noises, jagged chords and a rowdy, wordless chant. It’s a heave-worthy combo that’s perfectly evocative of the title.

It’s great to hear such a distinctly original Burlington band capture their sound on record. They’re pretty fun live, too; catch them at Big Heavy World headquarters on College Street in Burlington on Sunday, October 15."
(Casey Rea) - Seven Days


"Pink & Blue Review"

"Though relatively unknown to the world outside of Burlington, VT and Boston (the band’s home away from home), Pretty and Nice’s debut Pink & Blue will undoubtedly pave the way to…something good, whatever that may be. The quartet calls on the sounds of The Jam, XTC, The English Beat, and The Futureheads as musical starting points, though the subject matter of the songs may bring to mind groups that tend to deliver lyrical innocence–The Unicorns, etc." - Lunch of Champions Blog (www.lunchofchampions.info)


Discography

"Blue & Blue" EP (2007), Self Released.

1. Pretty Shells
2. Grab Your Nets
3. Gramophone (Leif RMX)
4. Fortress (Profecyr RMX)
5. Speedboats (Estaw is kidnapped and kissed on RMX)
6. Research & Development (Despaley Bunnies on Spikes RMX)

"Pink & Blue" LP (2006), Self Released.

1. Fortress
2. Lazy Lazy Bumblebee
3. Hey Hey Come On
4. Stop/Start
5. Gramophone
6. Speedboats
7. Busy Bees
8. Georgia Belle
9. Research & Development
10. Sea Legs

"Pretty & Nice" EP (2004), Self Released.

1. Sea Legs
2. Space
3. Gramophone
4. Razz the Beatbox
5. Mammoth
6. Casio Filibusters
7. Sean O'Malley
8. Stop/Start
9. Horseflies

"Caring is Knowing: A Compilation to Fight AIDS" (2006), Wyld Stallions Records

1. Pretty and Nice - Sean O'Malley

Photos

Bio

PRETTY & NICE are the four horsemen of pop doom. The glitch-pop quadrangle was pieced together over 3 years; its members coming from all over New England. The group currently resides in Boston, ready to emerge and destroy your life with catchy hooks and bad irony.

In December '06, after two years simmering, the New English glitch-pop outfit released its debut full length. The album, a ten song set entitled "Pink & Blue," is an unabashed celebration of the band's appreciation for the ambitiousness of punk's angularity and a sick pension for pop sensibilities.

Completed in July of 2007, Blue & Blue delivers two new tracks and four uber-hip dance remixes from 2006's Pink & Blue. Armed with the new EP, Pretty & Nice heads out on the road again July 24th.

Past performances have included shows at The Great Scott (Boston), The Middle East (Boston), Boston University, the Continental (NYC), Trash Bar (Brooklyn), Talking Head Club (Baltimore), The M Room (Philadelphia), The Drunken Unicorn (Atlanta), Super Happy Fun Land (Houston), and many more amongst the star spangled states.