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Rock - Released October 21, 2016 | Razor & Tie

The Pretty Reckless came into their own on 2014's Going to Hell, a sophomore set that found them executing their neo-grunge in a catchier, harder fashion than their debut. Now that they've mastered their vocabulary, it's time for them to expand their horizons on 2016's Who You Selling For. Such ambitions are evident from the somber artwork and the multi-part title of "The Walls Are Closing In/Hangman," the track that gets Who You Selling For off to somewhat of an epic start. While the Pretty Reckless resist the urge to go prog, they do operate with a grander sense of scale here, while also incorporating a stronger sense of swing; the verses of "Take Me Down" percolate to a surprisingly funky groove while "Prisoner" grinds to a heavy stomp. Elsewhere, the Pretty Reckless stretch into territory that can only be called classic rock -- filled with acoustic guitars and piano, "Back to the River" is refried Southern rock, "Already Dead" is a slow Led Zeppelin blues jam by any other name, and the folksiness of "Bedroom Window" recalls Stevie Nicks at her gentlest -- and this winds up contrasting nicely with what remains of the band's revivalist grunge. All these new developments are pretty clear signs that the Pretty Reckless have decided to grow up on Who You Selling For and, thanks to their inherent muscle and the sharp articulation of producer Kato Khandwala, this self-conscious maturation succeeds. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 12, 2021 | Fearless Records

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Rock - Released March 18, 2014 | Razor & Tie

Rebellion is part and parcel of rock & roll, but few rockers have had it harder than Taylor Momsen. A child star who appeared in Ron Howard's grotesque 2000 adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and came to stardom as Jenny Humphrey in the 2000s series Gossip Girl, Momsen needed to work hard to be considered on her own merits, something that was especially difficult because she specialized in an overdriven '90s grunge showcased in MTV's forgotten mid-decade show SuperRock. Momsen worships at the altar of Courtney Love but doesn't quite care to push buttons; she rebels in a vacuum, pushing the buttons of parents who came of age in the '50s. That's part of the charm of the Pretty Reckless: they fight battles long since settled but they believe it, man, and they're ready to rebel in a time-honored tradition they've learned through retrospectives and word of mouth myths. The saving grace of the Pretty Reckless, especially on Going to Hell, which is way better than their 2010 debut Light Me Up, is that they act as if these long-settled battles are still fresh, so they rail against the dying of the light with overdriven amps and stadium chants as they stumble into quite good bubblegum grunge hooks. It's hard to think of this as music that belongs to 2014 -- it's rooted in the '90s and doesn't want to move beyond it -- but there's nevertheless a twitchy teen rebellion that fuels the whole enterprise, and that's why Going to Hell works: the group may be following a blueprint, but they believe they're following their own course, and that conviction is convincing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | DAS Label - Interscope Records

Naturally, the title song of the spring 2012 EP Hit Me Like a Man was intended to offend: that's what Taylor Momsen and her crew in the Pretty Reckless do, they push buttons. If they weren't so blunt in their provocations, their barely updated L.A. sleaze rock wouldn't cause so many ripples, but the Pretty Reckless are proudly ballsy. They're also kind of stupidly ballsy, hammering every one of their points with a hundred-pound sledgehammer, but the obviousness of it all is the appeal and the three new songs here -- all about sexual politics, all roiling with the heavy-lidded violence that surfaces explicitly on the title track -- are harder and better than much of their guilty-pleasure debut, Light Me Up. Sure, former child actress Momsen may just be acting out her teenage rebellion on a large stage and her imagination may be limited, but she is not insincere and the heartfelt tawdriness of Hit Me Like a Man is oddly compelling. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | DAS Label - Interscope Records

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Rock - Released November 27, 2020 | Interscope

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | DAS Label - Interscope Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | DAS Label - Interscope Records

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Rock - Released August 21, 2020 | Fearless Records

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Rock - Released August 12, 2014 | Razor & Tie