How The Pretty Reckless Is Helping Keep Rock Alive


Edited by Brett Buchanan

Rock and roll is on the move again. With many bands from previous decades going back on tour, and many new artists adapting older styles from them, it is hard for anyone to state that rock is “dead.” One of the newer bands fighting to keep rock alive is The Pretty Reckless.

Taylor Momsen, formerly an actress, grew up with an intense passion for music. She started writing songs at a very young age, and as she got older realized she would prefer to pursue a career in music rather than acting. Luckily for rock fans, she did.

In 2010, The Pretty Reckless put out their first album, Light Me Up. Momsen had just turned 17. The album relayed messages about youthful angst and heartbreak, being very relatable for young fans. 2014’s Going to Hell had a much darker and edgier side to it. The tracks had more ambiguous meanings, as Momsen had said that she wanted fans to be able to relate to the songs in their own personal way rather than just having one concrete message. The ruggedness of the band’s second album made it very clear to the world that they were shifting their direction more towards stripped down, in-your-face rock and roll.

Their new classic rock sounding single “Take Me Down” was just released on July 15th. With the anticipation for their third studio album in the near future, it is important to acknowledge the elements of this band that make them so unique.

First and foremost, the “frontman” is really a frontwoman. There have only been a handful of female-fronted rock bands in the past decade to successfully claim a seat in this side of the music business.

Secondly, Momsen’s voice is unique. Unlike most female artists currently dominating the industry, her range is not the only asset she has. The roughness and rasp in her deep voice are enough to deliver her messages and still sound great at the same time – she does not need to hit the highest note possible for the song to stand out. However, that is not to say that she does not have good range and cannot hit those notes.

Lastly, Ben Philips, Mark Damon, and Jamie Perkins are an absolute powerhouse. They can go from making a song sound soft and sweet to ballistic and energetic. The three of them work together to keep Momsen’s vocals in check and her lyrics relevant.

All in all, this band has an obviously insatiable love for rock and roll. They are in the fight to keep rock alive and their contribution is admirable. Check out their new single, “Take Me Down” to see for yourself.

  • Corndog

    Taylor Momsen makes me wanna die. Well, not die, but she definitely makes me wanna do stuff and things.

  • larry cornwater

    Terrible music, but I would absolutely tonguepunch Taylor Momsen’s fartbox.

  • Felonious Punk

    Rock n’ roll has never been dead and this band is hardly the torch-bearer of bands “keeping it alive”

    Shit band who isn’t quite as bad as Evanescence but can’t stand anywhere close to Lacuna Coil

    • Beefcake

      Right!? I can think of a handful who rock harder/better to this day…

      Brody Dalle
      Shirley Manson
      PJ Harvey
      Erika Wennerstrom
      Joan Jett
      Chrissie Hynde
      Brittany Howard
      Emily Haines

    • Jesse Sikora

      Hole-lite ? What an absolutely ridiculous comparison.

      • Felonious Punk

        No it’s not. Listen to their albums. She’s pulling pages directly from the Courtney Love playbook.

  • Joe Costigan

    Highly Suspect – Mister Asylum is the best rock album of the last year. It is a record you can listen to all the way through – no filler at all. I discovered them randomly when they played on my Pandora app. This band should be alot bigger than they are and it would be nice if this site supported new talented bands rather than just solely focus on the older bands. I have not heard of Highly Suspect mentioned once on this site. Just good straight forward rock music – strong vocals, guitars and great rhythm section.

    • whisky

      You must be new around here.

      • Joe Costigan

        no been around awhile

        • whisky

          Then you must have missed the occasional new artist spotlight articles they publish.

          • Joe Costigan

            can you link me to one? When I search for them I only find the article regarding STP asking the lead singer if he wanted to sing for them. Also they were grammy nominated and I never saw that mentioned here.

      • Felonious Punk

        Whisky, should join me and Beefcake in the Alt Nation Smartass Club

        I know you’re capable, after that scorching anarchy rant you posted a few days back..

        • whisky

          Not sure what happened to your comment? Got an email, clicked reply, came here, and it’s not the same?

          Anyway, I’m proud to be lumped in with you and Beefy. Smartassery is a high calling.

          • Felonious Punk


            I had originally extended you an offer to join me and Beefy in the Alt Nation Smartass Club (because you’re more than capable), but figured you might think that was lame and edited it

            So yea, you’re more than welcome to join me and Beefy in the Alt Nation Smartass Club, if you fancy..

          • whisky

            There’s nothing lame about being in good company, bro!

          • Felonious Punk

            And then there were three! 😀

  • Felonious Punk

    “In 2010, The Pretty Reckless put out their first album, Light Me Up. Momsen had just turned 17..”

    I’m sure if you search hard enough, you could turn up some photos of her and Anthony Keidis walking around arm and arm in New York from the time period..

  • whisky

    Female-fronted cock rock. Pussy rock? I don’t know… But I know it’s silly.

  • random hero

    really? cause this isn’t rock. they’re almost as bad as in this moment. the new garbage is 10 times better.

  • dakotablue

    “her range is not the only asset she has…”
    well yeah, she has her asset too, if ya know what I mean.

  • mynamehear

    Band has a hell of a lot of potential. Take a go at “Absolution”- mighty powerful vocals indeed.