"You're pretty." It's a bit ironic that one of Milwaukee's best bands, one that has so much going for it, has a name that sounds more like a compliment to someone else than a declaration of its own obvious merit. It's even more interesting that beyond the aggro-rock exterior of their songs, the band's music contains instrumentation and vocals that could easily be described not only as "pretty," but even "beautiful."
The band's beginning is typical. The four members of You're Pretty (Beth Musolff - vocals, Steve Kern - guitar, Chris Stenger - bass, Dave Keckeisen - drums) got together in 1998 through various channels: mutual friends, shared childhoods, classified ads. What is not typical is the musical and personal chemistry that sparked when they joined forces.
Despite a definite anger in the music, especially behind Beth's impassioned vocals, the amorous relationships that band members have for each other is easily apparent.
You're Pretty has maintained a home base in Milwaukee, but has expanded its focus nationally. In the past year, the band has played showcases for record labels twice in L.A., toured regionally, and garnered critical praise and commercial airplay around the U.S. and U.K. All of this was made possible by manager/agent Stacey Olson, the group's self-described "den mother." Olson has guided the career of this young band and has big plans for them in the coming year.
You're Pretty released its follow-up CD this spring. The band describes the "161 EP" as "more aggressive, but with the same emotion and dynamic... it's just turned up a few notches."
The combination of aggressive guitars, driving rhythms, and powerfully emotional vocals is a sure combination for success.
Fellow hard-rockers Staind are such big fans of the band, that they called Olson from their "Family Values Tour" to have her FedEx a half-dozen more copies of YP's debut CD to the band on the road. Mike (Staind's guitarist) reportedly listens to YP's CD when he goes to sleep every night. That is just the kind of strong response YP is sure to get as more people get turned onto their music.
So, what's the plan for the future? YP has already received major-label attention, but the band is painfully aware of the politics and economics that working with a giant corporation entails.
"We have two plans, actually," they claim. "We have a plan if we sign with a major label, but we have everything in place to do it ourselves."
Seems like a good attitude to have. YP will get the chance to showcase for more labels and journalists in Los Angeles next month, when they play the legendary club the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, as well as the Dragonfly club, as part of their fall tour.
To stay connected with YP, visit the band's web site, www.yourepretty.com, which contains info on upcoming gigs, samples of their music and more.