Pretty & Nice, Interiors, Dreamend, Hospital Ships | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Pretty & Nice, Interiors, Dreamend, Hospital Ships 

When: 2009
Price: $8
This Boston electro-rock trio hasn’t done anything much that’s novel yet—the band’s moves mostly remind me of XTC, except for the occasional jolt of dance-floor thump. Yet for an XTC fan like me—somebody who loves them enough to hear their influence in unlikely places—Pretty & Nice scratch a nagging itch. The masters rarely integrated the angular vitriol of Drums and Wires (1979) with the lush pop of Oranges and Lemons (1989); when the vibe was mellow, Andy Partridge’s biting lyrics fell flat. This allows me to imagine that Pretty & Nice’s second full-length, last year’s Get Young! (Hardly Art), was actually intended as a skillful but fannishly respectful rebuke of this limitation: pissy yet joyous, it smashes clangy guitar-and-bass sparring into melodic breakdowns so pretty and inventive that I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys found their own genius an album or two down the road. The Interiors, Dreamend, and Hospital Ships open. —Ann Sterzinger



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