Pearls – Pretend You’re Mine

After a self-titled EP in 2012, Melbourne glam-rock trio Pearls spent an entire year recording for their debut album. Recently adding a fourth member, keyboardist James Payne, the time was well spent and the fruits of their labour is Pretend You’re Mine.

Payne’s efforts add to an already potent mix for the group’s oh-so catchy singles, ‘Big Shot’ and the title track, linked with a theme borrowed from – but much less annoying than – Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock ‘n Roll part 1 and 2’. The rest of the album takes a slightly different tact, aurally. Where ‘Big Shot’ and ‘Time to Pretend’ are readymade, radio-friendly gems, The War on Drugs-esque, ‘Me and My Girl’ takes us on a mellower, atmospheric journey. The loud, fuzzed out, distorted guitars of ‘Dirty Water’ points to Jesus and the Mary Chain while ‘Albion’ is a slow-burning, epic stadium stomper.

‘Better Off Alone’ also shows the band have a self-deprecating, ironic sense of humour with the lyric “Sad songs just get old.” Deceptively simple, Pearls don’t overcomplicate their music but repeated listening reveals layers of well thought out melodies and rhythmic structures. The cover art might be a cheeky throwback to the extravagant and decadent era of ‘70s and ‘80s glam rock but don’t be fooled: Pearls are a serious band with very serious ambitions.

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