The Pretty Reckless – “Death by Rock and Roll” Review

Story posted February 18, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Emily McGlynn

News flash — rock ‘n’ roll is not dead. The Pretty Reckless has released their fourth studio album.

Taylor Momsen, Ben Phillips, Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins are the members of the band who mainly make punk and hard rock music.

They’ve been making music since 2009.
On Spotify, the Pretty Reckless have a little over two million monthly listeners. Slowly but surely, they are gaining popularity — and “Death ByRock and Roll” is their most confident album.

The album consists of 12 tracks and, when run all the way through, listening time is 50 minutes.
On “Death By Rock And Roll,” the band did not shy away from the obvious title. Each song was pure rock ‘n’ roll. The aesthetic of the album is very consistent. There are only a few songs that are more on the mellow side.

For this album, the lead singer Momsen said the band was inspired by legendary rock figures such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

She was influenced by their pattern of writing about their personal hardships and then creating beautiful music.

This record was centered around death, coming of age and feminism. Lyrically, the album is raw and sentimental. No one must guess what the band thinks about or what they have gone through. They present their experiences in a poetic manner and the themes are sublimely written.

As the album goes on, each song dives into a different experience. At the end, the band says there is light at the end of the tunnel with the song “Rock And Roll Heaven.”

The actual music itself is okay. Most of the percussion and bass guitar riffs are super plain and aren’t unique. It’s repetitive and many of the beats have been used before.

Not saying it’s not good, but it has been done before. It’s the basic hard drum beat with electric, layering guitars. However, the combination of 90s punk rock and classy 70s rock is an interesting mix with lots of potential.

One thing that must be noted is the lead singer’s voice. Momsen is impeccable. She has a wide vocal range with great enthusiasm and power. A great singer can sing on pitch and sing with emotion, and Momsen is a great singer.

Overall, "Death By Rock And Roll” sounds like it came right out of the 70s with modern yet timeless struggles. It’s not the most unique album ever made, but it’s a stepping stone for The Pretty Reckless.

Rating: 6/10
Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “My Bones"
Least Favorite Song: “And So It Went”

Emily McGlynn is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email