Cock rockers of the 1950s

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Based on image alone, it would be fair to assume that Pretty Vanilla plays self-congratulatory cock rock. The Vancouver trio dresses like it wandered off the set of a Poison video, with skin tight leather pants, high-heeled boots, and copious amounts of black eyeliner. Given this facade of rock ‘n’ roll excess, it’s only fitting that the group’s debut EP is called 7 Inches Deep, a sexual reference so thinly veiled it barely even qualifies as figurative.

Thankfully, the four songs contained on 7 Inches Deep sound nothing like what you’d expect based on the packaging. Far from excessive wank-rock, Pretty Vanilla’s music is charming retro pop, recalling 1950s Top 40 hits delivered with a slight punkish edge. Opener “Lost in the Soda Shop” (presumably an allusion to the Clash‘s “Lost in the Supermarket”) borrows its chord progression from every doo wop song ever written, and even features “bap-she-wally-wally” backing vocals; Nikki Nice’s sneering, androgynous singing prevents the song from coming off as overly campy, as do the lyrical references to angel dust. Of the EP’s four tracks, only “Paper Tiger” breaks the AM pop mould, its mid-tempo swagger harking back to Electric Warrior-era T. Rex.

With such obvious reference points, originality is clearly not Pretty Vanilla’s strong suit. Still, that isn’t such a problem when the music is so much fun. The weather’s getting hot, so throw on 7 Inches Deep and go for a ride with the top down–preferably in a ’57 Corvette.

7 Inches Deep is out digitally and on 7″ (duh) on June 13th.
 
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