Pretty Volume is the side project of Ky Anto and Neil Leyton. The recording of this album dates back to over five years ago when Ky approached Neil with a bunch of songs, most of which had no lyrics. They both entered Halla Music Studios and recorded 2 sessions with a view to mixing and releasing the album at some point in the future. The tapes were then left in storage to gather dust and when they were recently "re-discovered" they were found to be badly degraded with a lot of the audio being lost. The tracks on this album have been painstakingly cleaned up and remastered before finally being released.
"It's Alright" starts the album off with an intro ripped straight from T-Rex, a great melodic track which reminds me of how Ky's solo album, Doodling On Jazz, would have sounded if it was recorded using electric guitars. Third track, "Colleen", has a hint of Imperial Drag about it with a sound in a similar vein to the Drag's 'Boy Or A Girl'. It should be pointed out that the sound quality varies from track to track, this is down to the aforementioned problems with tape degradation, with most songs having a rough demo feel to them. This however, is of no detriment at all to the album, as the tracks just feel 'right' in their current state. The music suits such a 'fuzzy' sound and although my curiosity says it'd be great to hear these songs when fully produced I can't help but feel that a clean production would rob the tracks of their soul. "So Long" is another killer 70's glam sounding track with a great bridge into the chorus. Unfortunately the following track "Dreaming" is a ballad that seems to wander round aimlessly trying to find it's feet but ultimately fails. Thankfully memories of this track are quickly forgotten when "Cheerleader" kicks in with a fast and scuzzy garage rock riff. Think the New York Dolls jamming with the Lee Harvey Oswald Band and you're there. Penultimate track "She Says" is a great slice of fuzzed up power-pop and probably their attempt at a 'Queen moment'. "Revelation" closes the album with a wonderful rock'n'roll groove and a chorus that will stay with you for a long time after the CD ends.
For an album that was very
nearly lost forever before it could even be released this is great and I for
one am thankful that this collection of songs could be salvaged. Although it
has a couple of weak moments it's an album I'll be returning to again and again.
I just hope that the release of this album prompts Anto and Leyton to work together
by John Baxter
Visit the Pretty Volume Website