Pretty Mafia – Debut single Benny Blanco

Style will float to the top, so when those Wakey (Wakefield) Pretty Mafia guys slid a tidy lastminute pre-release copy of their new single Benny Blanco into my DM’s, I just knew I wanted a review of that cool lazy, languid vibe on my website.

I’ve spent so much of lockdown in the company of Netflix, I’m at the point where I’m disappointed when I open my car boot that it’s not full of either drugs, dollars or a body: “Huh, just 6 empty Sainsbury’s carrier bags, an old coat I wouldn’t even bury my worst enemy in, and a broken plant pot? I’m a zero”. So, the names of both the band and the song evoke something of the gangster binge watch. Although Blanco has a gangster name, he is of course writer and producer (Moves Like Jaggar) and a feature of Tv’s Dave.

It’s perhaps a bit silly of me to namecheck Nick Cave as Pretty Mafia sound nothing like Nick Cave, but nevertheless there is something of that cool dark edge but mixed with a shedload of top class guitar and a really accessible vibe. I can see Benny Blanco on Netflix yet.

The Pretty Mafia band formed last year, when they were known as Ascendo, and I remember following them on one of the Leeds Bands knock out contests where they did great. This track has been expertly recorded at Eiger Studios in Leeds and produced by Dom Richmond. The band say they knew this track was special and they were keen to get it right. That care to quality shines through. The cool artwork for the song is by Joey Newey frontman for Kashmere.  

I remember Ascendo’s Oasis/60’s influenced track Pink Gin and Lemonade released last year. For 2021 the band have gained a name change and developed much more of their own style as there’s a real solid confidence within this tune. You just know these lads walked out of the recording studio with their heads held high. Fans of the likes of Oasis, Dirty Laces and the Arctic Monkeys would easily find something to love here. I personally pick out both hard steel and a touch of the Stone Roses/60’s influence in the music.

I will shout out the guitar of Joe Doody; that’s a guitar that jangles with a nonchalant strut and you cannot help but marvel at the solid attitude of these notes. Likewise, singer Charlie Williams pitches the delivery of his vocals perfectly on this song. It’s urgent and stylish, but not so to overpower that guitarwork. That mix is pretty prefect            

If you need to catch Pretty Mafia live, they are playing at Leeds Eiger Studios on July 9th alongside The Weight and The Last Program, and on 16 July at the same venue with Darlings.  

Chris R

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