EP – Papa vs Pretty.
Statement: one of the biggest joys that we experience in life is finding something that pleases; whether it is the ears, the eyes or whatever. Exceeder: an even bigger joy is witnessing something that evokes feeling, whatever that is depending on the individual.
… and on a more focal note, (in my opinion) the essence of a good band comes from their ability to play a good live show, as well as record well – whilst maintaining an original sound.
Anyways, I legged it off the projectile-vomit sprayed train at Town Hall station on Saturday night gasping for clean air and shaking with excitement, and slumped my way down to The Metro (corner of George Street and ‘Hooker Lane’) to see Paul Dempsey. I wasn’t on time, but pffft who wants to see the supporting acts anyway right? – They’re usually just time fillers.
I walked into The Metro, this grubby pub looking building, and headed straight to the bar to buy a Shiraz or four. By this time it was roughly 8.30pm and Paul wasn’t due on until 10.00pm, so I decided to fill in time and listen to the supporting bands (who I honestly thought would just rip my ears off and slap me over the head with a brick as far as talent and entertainment went, but I was feeling rather humanistic that night so the 2nd bands got a listen; I don’t usually have much faith in the supporting acts to satisfy).
‘Papa vs Pretty’ was the first supporting band (Dan Kelly and his Dream Band were the second, but they weren’t as good in my opinion…). The first two things I noticed about Papa Vs Pretty was how much the lead singer looks like Matthew Bellamy (Muse) when he sings and the totally psycadelic faces the drummer makes. However, these exteriors were all surpassed when I heard what was going on with their music. They were still quite obviously a new ‘underground-ish’ band; they had that unpolished raw sound about them – something that fades over time after playing substantially equipped live gigs for years, but the band times well and knew what they were doing! They displayed quite a high level of professionalism (which is 50% of the appeal in any band) and were all obviously very talented musicians; something I don’t see very often in supporting bands).
This band released their EP only recently, and upon downloading and listening I have found them to be a band of their own sound and creativity; respect! However, if I was to a liken them to more well-known bands (purely for getting an idea of their sound) I would say that they are elements of The Cure, Muse, Radiohead, and they have a slight ‘raw tingy’ sound in their guitar throughout their melodically focused stuff that would be best likened to John Frusciante. However, they are far from copying sound, and have certainly succeeded in creating their own.
My new favourite song is Papa vs Pretty’s ‘Shoot‘, however I am always more partial to the melodic, melancholy stuff; especially when it is crafted well. ‘Sleep (again)’ comes in second. Their harmonies travel ‘the road less taken’ which makes them all the more enjoyable to listen to; something fresh and new. In this way I would say that they are like Dempsey; they follow the melody down a different path, instead of subduing to the ‘way things usually are’ – Kudos.
From their EP you can tell that they are exploring still; they haven’t quite found their element. When I first heard ‘Arrestem’, my immediate thought was ‘Björk vs The Killers’. This song was quite removed from the other stuff on their album, and I felt like it didn’t really keep in with what the album had been about so far. Don’t get me wrong, it is a really good song and it follows a complex sequence; sort of like a musical story, but I couldn’t quite see where it fit in with the other songs.
In conclusion, these guys are so talented and they really know how to work well with each other. Their creations are mini-genius, and they have a huge potential to go Mega, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years they are selling albums, being seen on Video Hits on Saturday mornings and playing bigger gigs. They are on the right track, and once they are ‘discovered’ by the big time, there will be no stopping them.
Overall, I would probably give the EP THREE stars. The musicality is beautiful and genuine and they are a new favourite on my iPod playlist – give it a while and they will be big.