Album Review Pretty Sick - Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile4 Stars
Not just a rehash of her idols, it’s a natural successor.
When Pretty Sick’s Sabrina Fuentes spoke to DIY recently, she declared ‘Makes Me Sick, Makes Me Smile’ to be the product of a lifetime spent in deference to the likes of Hole and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s a slipstream of guitar music that’s not been mined by many new bands of late which, coupled with Sabrina’s gnarled-yet-melodic, throaty wares and knack for a nihilistic sentiment, makes Pretty Sick ripe to pick up the baton of sassy angst left by Courtney Love and co. She’s convincing, too. Halfway through the scuzzed’n’heavy ‘Drunk’, she lets out a blood-curdling howl before repeatedly screaming “Is it everything you expected?” (Answer: no, it’s better), while its flipside, ‘Sober’, is a slow nocturnal misery ballad with a genuinely pretty line in harmonies. Previous single ‘Human Condition’ is a ‘90s grunge-pop earworm that sounds like it should soundtrack Buffy, the Vampire Slayer; ‘Dirty’ marries the grizzled and the sweet supremely, while ‘Self Fulfilling Prophecy’ is more surprising than its title might suggest, beginning with a sweep of sad strings before its introverted, self-questioning lyrics are left to take centre stage. Embracing her musical kindred spirits, ‘Makes Me Sick…’ isn’t just a rehash of her idols, it’s a natural successor.
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