As Pretty Vicious hits its fifth anniversary as a band, the Welsh quartet is thrilled, and a bit relieved, to finally be releasing its first full-length album, Beauty of Youth, whose “Something Worthwhile” is premiering exclusively below.
To this point the band’s output has been a steady stream of singles since 2015 and an EP in 2016. “We’ve been waiting so long to get the actual album out, and finally sounding like how we want it,” drummer Elliot Jones tells Billboard. He acknowledges Beauty of Youth, out July 12, has been a long time coming, with some false starts along the way as Jones and his mates grew from energetic teenagers to more polished but still hard-rocking early twentysomethings.
“There was a time when we thought, ‘Are we ever gonna get this album out?! Is it ever gonna sound good enough?'” Jones recalls. “Because we were so young and everything happened so fast, we’d just go along with it. If someone told us to work with a certain producer or in a certain studio or a certain way, we’d go along with it. And it never worked. But as we grew up and matured and knuckled down we were finally able to say, ‘Right, we’ve got do it this way with this guy, in this studio, this process.’ Then it started to work. That’s what we were missing. We really struggled for a long time.”
Beauty of Youth was recorded over the course of three sessions in Wales with producer Dan Austin (Twin Atlantic, You Me At Six). The 12 tracks are full-throttle rock, a mélange of arena-worthy punk and grunge, with an abundance of gritty attitude and guitar bite from Tom McCarthy. “The music has grown up with us,” Jones says. “We found a way to make it sound raw without it actually being raw. A lot of work has gone into getting this to sound the way it does. We always had a vision of how we wanted it to sound but just couldn’t do it. Dan really helped us find it.”
“Something Worthwhile,” meanwhile, is the drummer’s favorite track on the album. “It’s an optimistic song, uplifting,” he says. “It’s breezy. It feels like a real summer kind of song. It’s got that sing-along kind of thing happening, a real positive energy. It’s definitely one that means a lot to me — same with the rest of the band as well.”
After a spring tour Pretty Vicious is waiting to announce some more tour dates as Beauty of Youth rolls out. The break, meanwhile, is giving the quartet time to acclimate to its new situation. “When we were all teenagers everything was surreal,” Jones says. “We were in school at the time or working, and it all happened so fast you don’t internalize it or realize exactly what’s happening. You just go along with it. And now here we are, signed to Big Machine/John Varvatos, an album coming out. Looking back on it, it’s crazy what we’ve done in this band.”