Pouty: Forgot About Me (Get Better) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, May 17th, 2024  


Forgot About Me

Get Better

Mar 13, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Pouty is the solo project of Rachel Gagliardi, who previously played in Upset with Patty Schemel and was half of the punk band Slutever. As Pouty, Gagliardi released her first EP, the charming fuzzy and melodic Take Me to Honey Island, in 2016, and apart from the occasional track since then, she seemed to have generally taken a break from music.

Forgot About Me is Pouty’s official debut full-length album. And it’s a brilliant, big-sounding throwback to ‘90s guitar rock. Gagliardi acknowledging as much on “TV on TV” where she sings, “We’re living like the ‘90s / I’m feeling just like Courtney.” But Forgot About Me is no stale retread. In fact, the album breathes more life into the music it often seems to reference than anything resembling the dreaded “alt-rock” moniker in the past 30 years.

“Salty,” the album opener, excels in soft-loud vibe, with dreamy verses and thunderous choruses. Whether intentionally or not, “The Big Stage” reconfigures the explosive riff from that dog.’s “Never Say Never,” the guitar offsetting Gagliardi’s uber-melodic vocals and lyrics of knocking down the walls that prevent one from following their dreams.

Lilting acoustic and lugubrious steel guitars accent a vocal melody on “Bridge Burner” that is somehow both vulnerable and resilient. “Denial Is a Heavy Drug” is anchored by a simply vicious bass riff. And “I Can’t See It” and “Kill a Feeling” are just bludgeoning, in your face in the very best way.

Lyrically, Gagliardi is introspective and insightful, questioning, and both resigned and hopeful in turns. All are rendered with such a light touch that even lines like, “There’s nothing left to believe it, Is there anything left to give a shit about?;” “Close proximity, social anxiety, this life’s a ruse;” and “Life is no way to treat the living” become almost cheekily humorous, eliciting a simple wry smile and nod of agreement from the listener.

Forgot About Me ends after a concise nine songs and just under 30 minutes with the perfect and perfectly uncharacteristic lounge-y “Underwear,” Gagliardi singing in, well, pouty vocal (excuse the pun), lines like “I tell myself to grow up, as I’m lying in my underwear / I warn myself to snap out of it, as I’m crying on the floor.”

The album is a brilliant return, made all the more exciting by the fact that it seemed that Gagliardi and Pouty were gone from album making for good. But she has not disappeared, thankfully, and is back with a vengeance. Revel in it. (www.getbetterrecords.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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