The second release in as many months from New York underground group that is surely ready to bubble over into the general consciousness of the more concerned music aficionado. Signed to the UK’s Dirty Hit label, the same as mega concern Wolf Alice (which is where any lazy comparisons should start and finish).

‘Come Down’ is the follow-up to late 2020s ‘Deep Divine’, barely able to squeeze a rizzla paper between the two releases of quite frankly, exceptional material. I have been a little late to the party, only hearing Deep Devine in the past month or so. This has been a much unexpected but welcomed second helping so soon into discovering the group. The contrast in sound between the two recent releases is like a pendulum swaying to and fro from Noise Rock filth and exquisite Dream Pop melodies. Either way, there is no denying how accomplished this relatively young group is and very deserving of a much wider audience.
The record kicks off with the previous stand-alone single ‘dumb’, included here for the first time on an album. Hypnotic and abrasive, never quite thrashing the listener out of the blissful coma. Followed up by in comparison, the relatively new single ‘bet my blood’ which is reminiscent of the earlier, heavier offerings of PJ Harvey (make sure you check out the video).
Pretty Sick give older music fans like myself a lot of hope for the future, and by this, I don’t just mean rehashing well-established genres and trends appeasing those who are stuck in their ways and refuse to adapt and embrace. The band has a special way of presenting the familiar in ways that are new and fresh without sounding tired or obvious, taking the listener off on a journey, giving them that excitement of youth. Inspired and invigorated.

The record gives an excellent balance of being equal parts tranquil and dirgy in its sonic approach, showcased masterfully on tracks ‘ self-control’ and ‘pillbug’. The band really cuts its teeth lyrically on introspective songs such as ‘bare’, a very stripped-down affair musically, apt in its title. But also in the previous single ‘devil in me’, probably the most commercial-sounding song on the album. Presentation aside has great depth to the words and sentiment. All of this is rounded off with the last track ‘physical’, a very serene affair with an earlier post-punk Human League vibe about it, very peaceful, and a nice closer to the release.
I feel very fortunate to be able to review great records by groups like Pretty Sick, it’s also very refreshing to see that bands themselves have not slowed down as a result of the pandemic and to an extent unrelenting. Personally, I cannot wait to purchase some physical recordings, tickets, all of the above….
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Author: Dan Kasm