The Pretty Reckless, if you’re not aware is, let’s just say ‘Taylor Momsen’s band. She was in Gossip Girl for a bit and then in 2010 the bands début album ‘Light Me Up’ was released, which I actually enjoyed. However ‘Going to Hell’ has been labelled as a ‘progression’, but I’m not really seeing it. Lyrically I find that it is different, there are more religious motifs, but it seems forced; Hell has almost become glorified to an extent where ‘Going to Hell’ feels like borderline Christian Rock.
The album is consistently average. There are interesting moments where a change of dynamics will occur like during opener ‘Follow Me Down’ which has a bridge where the guitar is playing through a phaser pedal and I really like the band when they embrace the calmer side of things; Momsen’s voice doesn’t seem as angry and is actually almost sweet.
There’s a lot of cliched Hard Rock riffs played throughout, the sort of stuff you see in a WWE video game, the music wrestlers come out too (or the Republicans at that Conservative Convention – who comes out to ‘The Power of Love’?, so you could wait until Wrestlemania and get three hours of this stuff, or you could just not listen to any of it. ‘Heaven Knows’ is a poor man’s Glam Rock stahmp and ‘House on a Hill’ builds up with meaningful strings, which I do appreciate the change of tone from the obnoxious ‘I’ve heard this so many times before’ to ‘I’ve heard this less often’. Unfortunately my favourite track is fifty-six seconds long. ‘Dear Sister’ could be so much more, it could be the step into something good for the band, but instead it is just the ‘best interlude ever’, I wish so much that this would become fleshed out, but The Pretty Reckless would ruin it – like cheesy chips it would be a heart attack waiting to happen.
If anything ‘Going to Hell’ makes me frustrated as a listener. ‘Light Me Up’ was nothing particularly special but it was fun and had potential, and plus Taylor was something like seventeen when that album was released – she’s twenty now and things haven’t gone anywhere. ‘Going to Hell’ is very middle of the road. It doesn’t do anything other than fail to live up to my personal expectations (which honestly I wasn’t really on top of ‘album number two’). I’m going to re-visit their first album now – but if you like typical Hard Rock flings then try it, try it if you’re in high school and want to rebel – then listen to something better like Black Flag.