Contrary to its title, there’s nothing ‘pretty’ about this onslaught of sound from Bristolian punks The Pleasure Dome. Exploring narcissism, the band have bundled up as much energy and attitude as possible into "Pretty Picture".
We’ve all found ourselves frustrated at the Instagram-worthy lives that people portray on social media, and that feeling is exactly what The Pleasure Dome have channeled in their latest effort. That and a call to check ourselves on our own behaviour and, well, give ourselves a break.
Recorded live with producer Theo Verney (Pip Blom, Egyptian Blue), the track does well to convey that chaotic live energy that we’re all craving so much, package it up and deliver it with complete clarity. There’s no reprieve, as the track bursts into life at full force from the get-go and maintains that level of intensity throughout. Pair that with the acrimonious narrative from singer and guitarist Bobby Spender and the result is unignorable.
Speaking on the track, Spender explains that, “self love is important. It’s important for our mental health, our relationships and even to our dreams and ambitions. Sometimes you wonder if anyone will love you, first love yourself.”
“‘Pretty Picture’ is inspired by everything from the nursery rhyme 'Mary Mary Quite Contrary' to Show Me The Body, Metronomy's album Nights Out and The Beatles song 'Taxman'", Spender explains. "It presents the idea of people's desire to share their lives on social media, with their superficial sand castles soon lost to the scrolling tide. Their carefully crafted content is gone in a moment - does this impact the self, is it healthy, is personal social media contrary to the reason we do it? It explores these ideas of narcissism by looking inwards at the self, the way we give meaning to our own image based on our experience, how we can be blind to aspects of our personality which are clear to others."
The release is an absolute reality check on the ways of the digital world and human behaviour and also a very promising step for The Pleasure Dome, a newcomer on the punk scene, but one brimming with potential.