Album Review: Betty Petty’s “Desperately Seeking Satan”

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Here’s another local band to watch: Betty Petty is singer/guitarist Caitlin Danenhauer with drummer Austin Ash, bassist Toast Artisan Bourgeoisie (nice), and lead guitarist JJ James Van Lieshout. The upbeat, edgy power-pop group has a new EP out entitled Desperately Seeking Satan, which I’ve managed to misread twice, first as Susan and then Santa.  Calling themselves “mad pop”, the band mixes a little surf rock with some Giant Drag-style grunginess – Danenhauer occasionally sounds like Annie Hardy too – and ties it together with great lead guitar.

The EP opens with my favorite track, “Lions”, which contrasts buzzy guitar and sweet vocals. The melody is catchy and it ends well with the repeated, dreamy line, “I’m on fire”. “Rockets” reminds me of Ex Hex just a bit; there’s a crunchy guitar riff in the verses and shriller vocals, backed by soft “oooh’s”.  The verses on the next song, “Sweet”, have that Giant Drag touch, but the chorus morphs into something like a 60s girl-group melody, and again it’s a nice contrast.

The dreamier, shimmering “Wheels” segues into the final two songs, which feel more straight-ahead rock n’ roll with lots of lead guitar. “Smoke” might be my second favorite, due to a lazy-sounding vocal and high-energy guitar combination that makes you want to dance. “Black n Blue” is short and fun, matching cutesy, talking verses with guitar solos.

The band played The Lost Room last weekend, but unfortunately I missed it. I’ll have to catch them live soon!

Image by Alex Elizabeth @adiosambrose via Betty Petty’s Facebook

Simone Snaith

About Simone Snaith

Simone Snaith writes young adult and fantasy novels, and sings in the indie rock duo Turning Violet. A fan of scifi, fantasy, the supernatural and most things from the '80s, she enjoys reviewing music, books and movies. You can read about her own books at simonesnaith.com.
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