You might wonder how that first paragraph relates to the album I'm trying to review. Well, like I said, (good) music is always a trip, a journey loaded with discoveries, unexpected elements, different atmospheres. And this album certainly is a trip. It is minimalistic and it is not. It's psychedelic and it's strange, but also gentle and familiar. It's a mishmash of influences, thrown into a gloomy shoegaze atmosphere. This is something for smoky basement venues and moonlit jazz clubs.
Pretty Old Sound is a trio from Prague (Czech Republic) and that's about all I know from this act. On their facebook page I can see a lot of bands they like, but I'm not sure if they're all influences for Pretty Old Sound. Their music combines the gloomy atmosphere of bands like Jesus And The Mary Chain and at times Nick Cave with the experimental nature of The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, but they also include the grittiness of PJ Harvey and Nirvana's acoustic stuff. Luckily for them, they write some interesting songs with that combination.
The majority of the music drives on clean guitars, deep bass and steady drums, together with those typical, subdued shoegaze vocals. Don't expect too many tempo changes, or many other changes for that matter, but allow yourself to dwell in this repetitive, hypnotic sound of songs like opener 'Amazing', 'Next Line' or 'Pictures'. Or rock on with 'In My Mind' which puts the guitars of The Cure on the drums of Sisters Of Mercy. There are even some Morricone-resembling soundtrack elements to be found.
So yeah, this is a strange album which for some reason also often reminds me of Bain Wolfkind's work. I especially like closer 'The Velvet Projections Of Mine', combining gloomy jazz with repetitive, almost industrial drums. Interesting in any way and certainly worth checking out live if I ever have the chance. Like I said in the opening paragraph, I like discovering stuff like this, even if it's as lo-fi as this album is, or maybe even because it's is this lo-fi. Even that aspect gives this whole thing it's irresistible charm...