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CD Review: Anti-Hero's "Unpretty"


It's punky, It's unique, It's pointed. Admittedly, I've never been much a fan of girl singers, With the exception of Shirley Manson, Bif Naked, Kitty and old Gwen Stefani (none of this Holla Back Girl bullshit). However, Rose Perry of Anti-Hero has an appealing voice that holds its own against the gritty grunge-sounding guitars. Backed by heavy drumming and entertaining showmanship, Anti-Hero carries a lot of heart and explosive potential.

Strengths
Unique elements of Opera melody subtly and versatility come into play in songs like "Lost", while still holding true to a Rock N Roll format.

"Unpretty" is the song that's so good you could've sworn you've already heard it on the radio before. Rose's honest lyrics speak to pressures every girl falls prey to, as she cries out, "I feel so damn unpretty / I'll never be the girl posing in your fashion magazine / My skin's broken out, I'm only a size three / I feel so damn unpretty".

"Two Words" is probably the most varied song, with textured layers of solos, quiet breakdowns, strong backup vocals in all the right places, an angry tone and high-energy chorus. Overall, their sound is very reminiscent of 90's rock and if you find yourself saying, "They just don't make bands like they used to" then this CD will enlighten. Anti-Hero's debut CD is built on the pillars of late 70's/early 80's rebellious female rocker vocals and 90's grunge accompaniment, while remaining upbeat and sassy.

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Weaknesses
Sometimes I find myself yearning for more variation in the melodies. It's not that the whole CD sounds the same but Rose has a very distinct style that she tends to stick to. With roots in Classical and Opera, in addition to tastes in Punk and Hard rock, I'd like to see her test more of those influences in different songs, as opposed to having one uniform sound.

The band name will assert that the name Anti-Hero suggests a message to question authority. Rose once said, "We aren't going to stop until we are heard. We aren't just another rock band - we've got a message, we speak out for what we believe in, and we want to make a change." With the exception of "Unpretty", her larger social messages are largely under-explored. I'd like to hear more!

The guitarists could also benefit from leaning a little to the heavier side in a few of the songs. We're given a hint of it here but the sound doesn't seem to be fully fleshed out. I'm by no means suggesting a major overhaul of sound, only hungering for more exploration.

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Though it's not the type of CD I'd pop in for everyday listening, there really are no weak links on this album. Every song carries a strong presence that's distinctly Anti-Hero. The fusion of old and new sounds is seductive and can only get more interesting from here.

Upcoming Show: Friday, August 19th @ The Reverb

You might like if you're a fan of:
Veruca Salt, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, The Distillers, Garbage, Hole

Favorite Tracks:
2, 4, 10

Rating: 2/5.0

Jennn's CD Index:
1 - I'll give you $10 if you can make it through the whole CD
2 - I'm not a fan, but someone might like it somewhere
3 - There are a couple offbeat tracks but it's 90% ROCKIN
4 - This CD rocks my world in its entirety. Buy or die.
5 - Go see them live, support them, join the cult.

Photos Courtesy of:
Wes Robitaille(Iron Image Studios)& Madam Megz Fury


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