MusicRecord Reviews

Pretty Bird: in the machINE

The first track on in the machINE, the latest album from Athens experimental project Pretty Bird, “We dream strong,” is a nine-second sound collage that allows just enough time for the listener to fasten her seatbelt before being launched into the band’s dirty, dirty party. It’s the type of party that we all might attend, but wouldn’t dare host; the type of party that spills out into the street, where clothes vanish and half the town appears.

Songs like “it hurtz,” propel you into a morning surprisingly hangover-free. Bombastic, dirgelike and expertly recorded drums overwhelm the track, a backbone for the screech/yelp vocals that are ever-present throughout. The party hits its peak with the frantic, “you can’t helpitt.” and the following track, “Donwanna!”, which showcases Valerie Lynch’s beautifully understated voice in between all the chaos. 

At first glance, in the MachINE feels like chaos and experimentation for chaos and experimentation’s sake, but on repeated listens, under the big, repetitive drums is a band that thinks carefully about its arrangements, like if Dirty Projectors dropped their guitars and dropped acid instead. At 40 minutes in length, in the MachINE goes by quickly, allowing us to find our pants, order a pizza and start all over again.