Pretty Cruel – Eat Me Alive (2017)


Fresh AF. Will satisfy the need for pissed off and darkened punk rock.

Brisbane based outfit Pretty Cruel definitely take it to 11.‘Hellbent’ explodes through the speakers for 15 seconds and stops. My first reaction is “oh ok, this a short little powerviolence/screamo band’ cool”. BUT before the thought has even had time to settle in my head, the song ACTUALLY starts for real after a short silence and it’s a full throttle mess of punk, hardcore and rock and roll. I’m taken right back to when I listened to The Bronx in all their urgent fury and find myself applauding the misdirection and seriously cranking the tune. I was stunned when the jarring opening piece returned at the end of the song..essentially book-ending 2 ½ minutes of absolute fire! Sold. I’m so sold on this. Click below….

Now there’s nothing new under the sun, if you’ve heard enough of this stuff from other bands over the years you won’t find anything ground breaking here. What you will get is some seriously well written and really cool hardcore/punk that just feels fresh and ‘now’. In the last track ‘Quiet Places’ they used some dischordant guitars, some blast beats and frantic energy to take the song into near-Chariot levels. Compare that to song #2 ‘Tracks’ where they come a lot closer to ‘Clowns’ or ‘The Bronx’ in the abrasive punk delivery that doesn’t entirely abandon melody but keeps the line nice and blurry.

No trends, breakdowns, electric bits or ambient guitars, it’s a straight forward collection of six 2-3 minute assaults with big distorted guitars up front. The drums are peaking like 90% of the time and the bass punches through the mix with the help of a little dirt and some decent pick attack. Thank the rock-gods that the bass is well placed because it really holds up the guitar work. A hoarse screaming voice over the top never lets up and it only goes to cement in my mind what I suspected from the beginning…CONTENDERS!

If this is the beginning, I am all in for the next offering. The production is great, nothing but sheer gain and compression to keep it all from ruining your devices speaker. Since the songs are short it all feels over too soon and the urge to hit replay is high.

RIYL: The Bronx, Everytime I Die, Clowns, The Chariot

‘Eat Me Alive’ is available on Bandcamp for free/PWYW or you can stream it on excuses people!

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