Jessie Torrisi, the lead singer and guitarist for the Please Please Me comes across in person a lot like Patti Smith. She’s slightly built with a similar countenance, and what I can only imagine is a similarly literate swagger. It’s interesting, then, that in listening to the Please Please Me’s debut EP, Shake a Little Harder, I found it hard to spot Patti Smith’s sonic influence. Instead I got a lot more of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders.
I think that Torrisi and company come at their music from a much more working class perspective than Smith; something that is more reflective of Hynde’s music. The Please Please Me eschew Smith’s arty pretensions for the more accessible and straightforward rock that the Pretenders perfected. The song, “Exile,” for instance, most recalls the Pretenders’ rock through it’s tight song structure, bluesy vocal delivery and memorable hook.
The Please Please Me, though, invariably carve out their own sound. For one, they have Alissa McClure, a cellist whose sound colors every track with a certain elegance – even at its most ferocious. Secondly, the group is rounded out by drummer Agustin Frederic, who is inventive and insanely fun to watch live. Torrisi has compiled a group that brings her songs to life.The Please Please Me - 'Exile'
Opener “All Danced Out” is the most upbeat, bounciest track of all of them, and is sonically unrepresentative of the rest of the EP because of it. Lyrically, though, it’s schizophrenic. Torrisi simultaneously embraces her desire to dance and her exhaustion that will prevent that from happening.
The best track, in my opinion, is the epic “Dreamin’.” The Please Please Me are able to stretch out into an emotional jam that highlights the musical characteristics that each individual brings to the table, all wrapped up in a great chorus. It’s the beginning of the development of their own particular sound, and Shake a Little Harder is a fantastic starting point.
We are proud to be presenting the Please Please Me’s EP release party this Friday at Stubb’s. Tickets are only $8 in advance, and the show will also feature O Conqueror opening, and the fantastic OVRLD favorite Walker Lukens. It’s a great lineup of great local music, and we’re excited to see you there!
– Carter Delloro