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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Pretty Things

Bare As Bone, Bright As Blood

Review by Gary Hill

The Pretty Things is a band that has an interesting history. They started as a blues styled band in the 1960s, then moved into psychedelia, hard rock and eventually new wave over the years. This recent release from a reunited version of the band goes back to the start of the group, focusing on blues music (of the old school variety) before working into a handful of songs that have a folk sound. Call this what you like, but it's a strong release.

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Track by Track Review
Can't Be Satisfied
Traditional acoustic slide guitar blues is on the menu as this cut comes in from nothingness.
Come into My Kitchen
The concept is largely the same here, but this tune seems to have a little more magic to it than the opener did. Part of that is the classy harmonica solo. The guitar work on this really calls to mind Robert Johnson.
Ain't No Grave
I think this tune is even stronger than either of the previous cuts. It makes me think of the song "Gun Called Justice" from The Lords of the New Church quite a bit.
A dramatic acoustic blues song, this is another solid piece. There is more of a rocking sound at play here, and this has some electric guitar in the mix. I can make out some hints of Southern rock on this.
Redemption Day
An evocative ballad, this is all class. It's slow moving and dramatic. It's also a highlight of the set.
The Devil Had a Hold of Me
The old-school blues on this is again Robert Johnson like in terms of the guitar sound. It's another strong song on a disc populated with lots of strong music.
Bright as Blood

This is a bit more rocking, but with a traditional instrumental arrangement. It's intricate and so classy.

Love in Vain
The slide guitar and harmonica add to the arrangement on this song. It really does seem to exude sadness and despair.
Black Girl
There is a bit more of a folk music thing in place here. It still has some blues in the mix, though. Whatever you call it, it's a strong tune.
To Build a Wall
This is more fully folk music based. In fact I don't really hear any blues on this thing. It's a nice bit of variety, but also a thoughtful and effective song.
Another World
More pure folk music, this is a strong tune, too.
I'm Ready
We are back into killer blues zones here. This is a powerhouse tune. In fact, it's one of the best full blues romps here. That makes it a great choice for album closer.
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