CD review THE PRETTY RECKLESS ‘Death by Rock and Roll’

It was in 2009 when a band was founded in NYC, which quickly grew from a newcomer to an established rock act. We are talking about The Pretty Reckless. With ‘Light Me Up’ the quartet released a very solid debut album rather quickly and already at the time The Pretty Reckless were nominated for the Virgin Media Music Award.

Two more albums followed in the course of time and now it is up to ‘Death by Rock and Roll’ to build on the achievements so far and continue the journey through the heights of Rock’n’Roll. By the way, the title is in no way morbid, but rather empowering. It’s basically about “I live my way and I’m going out my way”. That’s rock’n’roll.

Already while listening to ‘Death by Rock and Roll’ the first time, it becomes obvious that The Pretty Reckless haven’t lost any of their momentum and dynamics. The title track starts off well and some of you may have heard the track as a single since it has been revealed earlier. It is this untamed devotion for what the heart is burning for which makes ‘Death By Rock and Roll’ a great album.

What this longplayer also reflects is that hard rock can be modern and has many facets. This factor makes The Pretty Reckless’ fourth album a very entertaining experience. Let’s take the upbeat ‘And So It Went’ as an example, a song where singer Taylor Momsen shows all her vocal talent, while a kids choir provides a brilliant contrast.

Another facet is offered by ’25’, a song which is based on a funeral march beat and carries emotional intensity. It doesn’t really matter which song you take a closer look at, you won’t find a downer on ‘Death by Rock and Roll’. There is the dramatic and very rhythm-based ‘My Bones’ followed by the melocholic swinging ‘Got So High’. With the latter the band proves that it is not only the loud sounds that spark enthusiasm. Also the emotional acoustic chords impress.

The second half of the tracklist, with tracks like ‘Witches Burn’, ‘Turning Gold’ and the nostalgic ‘Rock and Roll Heaven’, can easily keep the quality on a high level before the beautiful but also bitter-sweet ‘Harley Darling’ sets an emotional ending. The “ride away” in this song has the double meaning of literately riding away but can also be interpreted as “taking away someone forever”.

‘Death by Rock and Roll’ is a very recommendable album. The Pretty Reckless prove one more time that there is no way of getting around them when it comes to modern rock. This album has all the ingredients in the right place and delivers 51 minutes of high-end contemporary rock music that you tempt to listen to more than once.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


  1. Death By Rock And Roll
  2. Only Love Can Save Me Now (feat. Matt Cameron & Kim Thayil)
  3. And So It Went (Tom Morello)
  4. 25
  5. My Bones
  6. Got So High
  7. Broomsticks
  8. Witches Burn
  9. Standing At The Wall
  10. Turning Gold
  11. Rock And Roll Heaven
  12. Harley Darling

Label: Century Media

Genre: Modern Hard Rock

Release Date EU: February 12th, 2021



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