Papa Vs Pretty – Papa Vs Pretty EP

Papa vs. Pretty are easily one of the most exciting young bands to come out of Sydney in a hell of a long time. Much of this can be attributed to lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Rawle, who is still doing his HSC. Anybody who saw Thom and his trio blow apart the pokies room of The Annandale at the recent My Filthy Riot Festival will know that these guys seriously mean business. What’s even more refreshing is that Rawles, clearly an avid musical collector given his breadth of influences on this EP, refuses to be constrained by genre or hype, instead penning songs that accurately reflect his own experience and skill.

The last few years have seen a mess of teenage bands leaping to prominence without having much to show for it, including Operator Please, Ghostwood and Bridezilla, most of whom are languishing in their post-’moment in the sun’ ennui. Credit to Papa vs. Pretty then, for staying independent, hiring local management and generally not letting any success get to their heads.

Standout tracks on this achingly short taste include the sublime Sleep(Again), which begins a bit like a Radiohead b-side and ends up as a rollicking piano explosion and the phenomenal Arrestem, which smashes together about five disparate sections in the same amount of minutes and demonstrates the extraordinary potential bubbling away here. Not afraid to put all those keyboard lessons to good use, Rawles comes off sounding a bit like a teenage Matt Bellamy stylistically, albeit with a lower voice. Some of the parts of this record are only going to appeal to music geeks; the innovative song structures and ornate chord changes something that most will just groove along to without a second thought.

Not that Papa vs Pretty can’t do simple. In fact, the most refreshing cut off this EP is the last, the guitar/cello ballad Shoot. Here, a disenfranchised Thomas analyses his generation, lost love and the state of the world alongside a beautiful progression that could well become the next Chemical Heart or Ana’s Song with the benefit of some more studio gloss. The heartfelt lyric, ‘Lover, don’t keep me lonely’, definitely places it squarely in that category.

Papa vs Pretty are climbing to the top of the pack; if you need proof, just check out one of their explosive live gigs.