Material: The Pretty Flowers know just how strong their collection of tunes is. So strong, in fact, that they barely engage in between-song banter with the gathered crowd in Long Beach, so as to be able to fit in more music. The band recently released the Why Trains Crash album, a slab of work that they are understandably proud of. Naturally, we got a bunch of those songs, including the bittersweet “Some Girls.” “Think about the past so much, nostalgia was your favorite crutch,” croons frontman Green with a voice that is somehow both melancholy and super-sweet. That partially accounts for the comparisons the band is apt to get with ‘90s alt-rock bands such as Superchunk and Teenage Fanclub. There’s a depth to the lyrics, and a real authenticity about the performance, Replacements-like, that sets the band apart from many from the same neck of the musical woods.
Musicianship: There’s certainly nothing to complain about. The four members of the band are a finely tuned machine at this point, and the songs have clearly been rehearsed to where they sound much the same live as they do on record (with the addition of crowd noise and the stench of a dive bar men’s room). Guitarists Gideon and Green play off of each other immaculately, while Tiger and Johnson are a powerful rhythm section. Much of the time, they allow the song to shine and don’t feel the need to add unnecessary flourishes. That said, there is the occasional space for a little bit of noodle-and-widdle.
Performance: There’s not a lot to say here. Again, the band members don’t speak a lot between songs, other than to thank the evening’s other performers and to announce that they have records for sale at the back. Rather, they plug in and blast through their set. Not to hammer the point home too much, but they really do place complete trust in their material.
Summary: The Prospector is a fun place to watch a show. The walls are decorated to look like an old gold mine, “KEEP OUT” signs made with ragged bits of wood and all. It also has great sound and a crowd that wants to hear new music. So the stage was literally set for The Pretty Flowers, and the band delivered. All of the ingredients to do well are there––the band just needs a little luck, and to keep busting their collective ass.