Pretty & Nice is the rock 'n' roll equivalent of a well-dressed man who charms his way into your party then spends all his time engaging you with the voices in his head. The Boston experimental-pop troupe sounds so poised on its new album "Golden Rules for Golden People" that all of the music's absurd twists and turns sneak up through repeated listenings.
"Golden Rules for Golden People" comes out Tuesday, April 30, on Rory Records. The band then hits Great Scott in Allston on Wednesday, May 1, with Pattern is Movement and Kal Marks.
Pretty & Nice don't go in for the sprawl of Flaming Lips or the overt quirkiness of They Might Be Giants and Ween. Pretty & Nice finds its way into the weird using dynamic blasts of pop artfully splattered with bits of punk and New Wave. The band will toss in a cartoony twist here and there ("Critters" and "The Frog" come to mind), but is better at warping a song that seemingly got a normal start on life.
"Kill the Beast," for instance, takes a well-mannered Brit-pop influence into fantasy realm. And "Yonkers" jerks its punky posture back and forth, eventually steering the musing on Malibu, winters, and zebras (and pronounce that "zeb- ra") into a light, regal melody.
"Q_Q" is the album's lynchpin, pouring in all manner of sound and allusion without causing a flicker in its tractor beam groove.
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