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Pretty Monster by Fort Lauderdale

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Reviewed on 1st September 2003.


Pretty Monster

By Fort Lauderdale

It took several listens, but finally Fort Lauderdale makes sense. The British Flaming Lips perhaps? Whether intentional or not, with a copy of Sgt Peppers tucked under their arm, a psychedelic jukebox playing the best of Woodstock in the corner and a cold glass of vermouth on the bar, while reading a shiny copy of "How to play cheesy guitar solos that don't fit in your songs" (Exhibit A: "Best Days" Exhibit B: "As a boy")

In actual fact the music industry desperately needs creative boundary pushing bands such as Fort Lauderdale, but ultimately it is the likes of Badly Drawn Boy that will pull on similar influences, maintain purest values and have success crafting them into works we can all appreciate.

Over indulgence in their project has given Fort Lauderdale blinkers and despite the intricacies of this labour of love, 14 tracks is a slog for even the hardiest of listener.

Some gems do shine amongst the chaos of creativity such as the dreamy "Prey to the stars", the vintage organ/guitar off "Sexy Creature" and the fabulous California dreaming of "Out of the ether".

Yet too often the duo back themselves into to corners such as the gone wrong BRMC "Rock'n'roll" or the cringing "The Chilling Place".

This album is a wonder for influence spotters and lovers of abundant creativity - it's a nightmare for disciples of the disciplines of song writing. Make sense of that!



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