The thing that hurts so much about Pretendo’s II is that there’s just so much about it to like. “My Architect” is spy movie rock ‘n roll; “06/06/06” is Queens of the Stone Age-ish stoner rock; and “A Smoking Pipe to Dance” is like Modest Mouse dance-rock with The Godfather‘s theme appended to the front and back for good measure. The problem is that the myriad influences and experiences that Pretendo brings to the project never really mesh. II is musical potpourri, a pleasant little side dish to be taken in between servings of something more substantial. It’s very well produced, the guitars attack just the way they should, the generally unspectacular vocals are pushed back, and the songs have as much punch as you could expect, but the songs generally don’t have enough individual impact to be truly memorable. Taken as a whole, the songs cancel each other out, one track erasing the memory of another. You could listen to II three times in a row and still have only the vaguest recollection of what you just heard. This doesn’t make it bad, necessarily, but it does make II basically inconsequential.
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