[sic] Magazine

Prettiest Eyes – Pools

Should extra-terrestrial punks ever be discovered, it’d be no surprise to find Pools on their intergalactic jukebox. Hell, for all we know, these alien beings may even have religious centres dedicated to Prettiest Eyes, the exotic Puerto Rico/Mexico-via-L.A. three-piece who deliver garbled soundbytes of spacey garage-psych from their own dark corners of the cosmos.

Led by strangled singer/drummer Pachy Garcia, Marcos Rodriguez lays down the filthy bass work alongside Paco Casanova on hard keys and Pools is their follow-up to a strong 2014 debut and most of its tracks hover around the three-minute mark for added whoosh. The resultant whip-crack kraut goes deep, blasts of radiated noise often doing battle with volleys of suped-up, retro-futurist space-rock. Incessant grooves descend into garbled noise, the clattering of Suicide as interpreted perhaps by someone like Hookworms.

Rodriguez’s throbbing bass offers an anchor to what frequently sounds like a live capture from an encrypted teleport attempt while Garcia’s reverbed vocal beams in from the multiverse, creeping over spindly psychobilly structures on “No Hands Pete”, blown-out cones, blatant drones and primeval sludge doing some real damage to the frontal cortex as it goes.

All this and Pools is still somehow, weirdly of course, catchy. On the cheeriest cut of all, “Dandy”, it’s achieved with playful 60s organ and a massive hard-on for vintage sci-fi FX while on “Untitled” a crunchy bounce leads to a riot-esque finale of party punk from the outer limits. At the other end of the spectrum, rinky-dink keys let the self-explanatory “A Sweet Song” blossom into a recognisable, Black Lips-style bout of peculiar guitar-psych. In turn, the bruising “Let Me Touch” gets its sexual advances all wrong, but Prettiest Eyes are dangerous like that: angry, noisy and insistent – a proper rock “n” roll band for any age as, whatever sex and drugs smell like on their planet, these guys reek of it!

Best track: “Don’t Call”

~Pools is out now via Castle Face.~