Shows of Note: The Pretty Reckless

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When Gossip Girl premiered back in 2007, who would have guessed that the precious Little J, played by Taylor Momsen, would have grown to front the rock band The Pretty Reckless. Compared to Halestorm, Paramore, and Joan Jett, The Pretty Reckless just released their 3rd studio album, Who You Selling For, last month, and currently the band is on tour, playing at venues in North America and Europe.

Along with playing the aspiring fashion designer Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl, Momsen actually got her big break in 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas playing Cindy Lou Who. In 2007, Momsen was cast as 15 year old Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl and in 2009 when The Pretty Reckless formed, Momsen began appearing less on the show. Even before she left the hit CW show for good in her later appearances as Jenny, she began ditching her good girl wardrobe of plaid skirts and floral dresses, for a more punk look where she sported dark eye makeup, fishnet leggings, and black blazers. Finally in 2011 Momsen kissed the Upper East Side goodbye (or maybe she gave it the middle finger) to continue to focus on her music career. With her success with the band’s music along with their busy touring schedule, Momsen does not seem to be returning to acting anytime soon.

Even though Momsen is the face of the Pretty Reckless, let us not forget the band’s three other incredibly talented members. Before being recruited by Momsen for The Pretty Reckless, bassist Ben Phillips was in several bands. In addition to The Pretty Reckless, Phillips, the band’s drummer, Jamie Perkins, and lead guitarist Mark Damon were actually in a band called Famous in 2006. All three members have been with the band since 2010.

It is easy to assume that with Momsen’s raccoon like dark eye makeup and the band's overall punkish persona that they mostly sing hard rock songs; however, The Pretty Reckless has proven that they record songs of a variety of sounds, and along with their harder rock songs, the band also offers some emotional ballads proving that Momsen not only has the ability to offer powerhouse vocals, but she has the range to turn her voice down for a softer sound.

In many of the band’s music videos, Momsen embraces her sexuality and struts around in tight, scanty clothing while looking at the camera with the intensity of someone who is ready to suck the life out of the audience. On a side note, her style of dress is very reminiscent of Cherie Currie, who was the lead singer of the 1970s all girl group The Runaways. However, Momsen proves that while she can perform as a badass embracing her sexuality, in the music video for the soft ballad “You” Momsen shows that she can embody a more vulnerable side.

The Pretty Reckless released their third studio album Who You Selling For on October 21st. According to Chad Boward of Loudwire the album offers a bluesy sounds and “[e]ven though she’s still only 23-years-old, Momsen has a world-weary voice perfect for that style.”

Currently, The Pretty Reckless is touring around various part of North America, and they will be performing Seattle on December 2 at The Showbox at The Market.


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