The Preatures

Blue Planet Eyes

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After a pair of critically hyped EPs in their native Australia, Sydney rock quintet the Preatures throw their hat in the ring with their debut album, Blue Planet Eyes. With the assistance of Austin-based producer and Spoon drummer Jim Eno, the band hit the ground running with an irresistibly catchy collection of punchy, guitar-based tunes that have been compared to everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Haim to the Strokes. Their breakthrough single, "Is This How You Feel?" from the 2013 EP of the same name, is again the centerpiece of this release and it represents many of the Preatures' best assets. The song's easy, buoyant melody and percolating riffs fall somewhere between Blondie's street-smart moxie and the Cardigans' sweet power pop. Leading the charge is singer Isabella Manfredi, a highly capable frontwoman with a strong range who manages to portray a very effortless charm with both attitude and confidence. Standout cuts like "Somebody's Talking" and "Cruel" have all the hallmarks of classic pop radio hits without the contemporary digital sheen of the modern MP3 mix slamming into your earbuds. While Eno's production occasionally borders on being too murky and dubby, it does give the band a decidedly retro-organic feel that really suits their personality. With so many young bands either launching anthemic Springsteen-esque attacks or waving their neon '80s banner to the back of the room, the Preatures come across as refreshingly laid-back by comparison. The uplifting, melodic "It Gets Better" is one of the only instances where they overextend their scope a bit, but as a whole, Blue Planet Eyes is the work of a tight and highly efficient good-time band.

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