The Pretty Reckless

Hit Me Like a Man

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Naturally, the title song of the spring 2012 EP Hit Me Like a Man was intended to offend: that's what Taylor Momsen and her crew in the Pretty Reckless do, they push buttons. If they weren't so blunt in their provocations, their barely updated L.A. sleaze rock wouldn't cause so many ripples, but the Pretty Reckless are proudly ballsy. They're also kind of stupidly ballsy, hammering every one of their points with a hundred-pound sledgehammer, but the obviousness of it all is the appeal and the three new songs here -- all about sexual politics, all roiling with the heavy-lidded violence that surfaces explicitly on the title track -- are harder and better than much of their guilty-pleasure debut, Light Me Up. Sure, former child actress Momsen may just be acting out her teenage rebellion on a large stage and her imagination may be limited, but she is not insincere and the heartfelt tawdriness of Hit Me Like a Man is oddly compelling.

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