review: Pretty Hurts – Make Graves

Berlin’s Pretty Hurts latest record, Make Graves, is essentially a ‘How to convince my hardcore kid friends to give post-punk a go‘. Ignoring tedious connections to The Smiths, and connections to bands within the same genre, this conversion manual seethes with reverberating catharsis, opening like all of your favourite punk records: with a blast of feedback, and a myriad mysterious percussion. Make Graves is a noise indulged post-punk recordella, at times precisely sloppy in terms of guitar playing. It waves through the spectrum of tone colour, from dissonance to consonance, featuring arpeggiated riffs and crushing feedback.

The record unfolds with rhythmic simplicity, excusing the three-versus-two feel on the records second track, Hypnagogic Hallucinations. Track 5, Moving Fast operates eponymously, with a sense of incomprehensibility and punches of snare. The last track, Ambition ends ceremoniously in a chorus of “Do I really need to tell you, you’ll never reach the perfection you impose on me”.

Lyrically, Make Graves holds with white knuckles to the Saetia‘n mantra of there being “no happy here“: snarling with disappointment. It resonates as a two-finger response to the myriad of troubles facing neo-millennials, in the war against the contentment of curtain focused, settee buying, cabbage steaming, beige-worshiping normality.

Pretty Hurts tour the UK in May:

8th: Nottingham – JT Soar + Artefact + Police Drama + Oxeneers
9th: Sheffield – The Lughole + Sievehead
10th Glasgow – NICE N SLEAZY + The Cherry Wave + Lost Limbs
11th: Aberdeen
12th: Manchester
13th: Cardiff – Abacus + Artefact + Chain of Flowers + Alimony Hustle
14th: London – Power Lunches + USA Nails
15th: Bristol
16th: Brighton – Great Escape Festival

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