UH1_small.jpg
Kelly O
Artist: Unnatural Helpers

MP3: "Sunshine/Pretty Girls"

Label: Hardly Art

Release Date: Full-length Cracked Love & Other Drugs out April 27

Rating (Skip, Stream,

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MP3 Review: Unnatural Helpers' "Sunshine/Pretty Girls" is A Dirty, Simple Throwback

UH1_small.jpg
Kelly O
Artist: Unnatural Helpers

MP3: "Sunshine/Pretty Girls"

Label: Hardly Art

Release Date: Full-length Cracked Love & Other Drugs out April 27

Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Stream

Download: Right here.

Here's a brief history of Unnatural Helpers: since forming five years ago, the band's lineup has repeatedly changed, but the music remains the brainchild of drummer and singer Dean Whitmore, a Sub Pop sales guy. Past band members have included more label staff and also musicians (like Kimberly Morrison of the Dutchess & the Duke) signed to Hardly Art, an offshoot of Sub Pop.

I point this out not to cast doubt on Whitmore's abilities--he writes punk-infused, dirty little songs--but because Unnatural Helpers sounds like an old-school Sub Pop band. "Sunshine/Pretty Girls" has the rawness of grunge and mid-90s alt-rock; in 1992, it could have found its way onto the Singles' soundtrack. It's good but not terribly unique or innovative--which sort of make sense, because the song is an anthem for longtime, long-suffering Seattle musicians: "My lungs are killing but I'm never gonna give it up/ My liver, useless as can be, but I'm never gonna give it up." Whitmore doesn't care about "sunshine, pretty girls," or "flowers"--he just cares about his music. And it finally seems to be paying off.

 
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