If you’re sick of being ashamed of your love of melody, hooks and grooves, if you have a yen for pop yet get bogged down in its obviousness and lowest common denominator aesthetics then Pretty Boy Crossover will come to you like a breath of fresh air. They’re electronic in nature, but there’ a certain gentleness in their approach along with a desire for experimentation. If My Bloody Valentine were an electronic pop band that listened to Fennesz then they might find themselves in a similar world to where PBXO are on A Different Handwriting. There’ a woozy wall of warm fuzz that permeates many of the pieces, with a hypnotic throb of bass and there’ even chord changes. Throughout the misty shreds of sonic grandeur though there’ also this unmistakable pop element that permeates the duo’s sixth album, to the extent that it almost reaches out through the deluge and greets you like a long lost friend. This pop sensibility has always been present in PBXO’ work, yet never has it felt so refined. The tunes here are truly majestic, wide screen, highly textured that seem to hypnotically lull you along and before you know it you become aware that you’re knee deep in a groove. They’ve enlisted the vocals of Vince Giarrusso, formerly of the Underground Lovers, and though they’ve also just recently started another project, Mist + Sea, with him, they also have him offering Hood-like intonations and vocals on two of the tracks. It’s a breathtaking album, definitely one of the best local releases of the year, when melody and fuzz work this well together you can’ go wrong.
Bob Baker Fish