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The Prids
Chronosynclastic
Velvet Blue Music
www.theprids.com


The goal of many bands is if the average "Joe Shmo" is walking around the store, it'll be their album cover that's going to catch his eye. And it'll be that curiosity from the art that will undeniably cause them to buy said album... of course leading to a lifetime infatuation of the band and continued support. Or at least that WAS the goal. With the age of music being digital, so much focus has since left the thoughts behind album artwork. When the album Chronosynclastic, a recent release by the group The Prids, popped out of the mail, the first thing noticed was the artwork. A compilation of antique photos mixed with a few elements of nature. At first one would think they were just trying to do something different, but when you look up the meaning of their title, you'll see it all comes together. Chronosyclastic refers (at least in a Kurt Vonnegut book) to a kind of wormhole through time. Now this may not have been the way that The Prids took the meaning, however it seems to fit.

When focus goes to the music, one would think that too would follow the trip through time method along with the art. But if a previous decade was to be tied to their album, it's not entirely certain which one it would be. With the first song "Hide Your Thoughts" the mono-toned guitars, meshed with the no-frills vocals does bring a feeling of old school Hole to the table. Back when Courtney still had Kurt to influence her life and thus all was raw and grungy. So perhaps this song at least warped back to the early '90s.

When the song "Break" finally makes it to your ears, you'll be surprisingly refreshed with a peppy tempo and guitar that's figured out how to balance the rock with the melodic. This is a song that proves the benefit behind having both female and male vocals. Without the other one, individually they would get washed out by the rest of the song. At times it feels as though the vocals may be forcing the pep just a touch, but all in all, it's a song that will awake the tapping feet.

An 80s' high school prom would benefit greatly from the song "Desolate". A single soft voice streams throughout. The voice is accompanied by a guitar that has perfected a style normally only seen in "down-home country" music. It's almost a twang that's created, but whether it's literally a steel finger slide or not, it still gets drawn out to be quite beautiful. The rhythm is kept with repetitive notes and the beat comes from a fairly basic percussion. But all of this merely leaves way for your focus to be on the beautiful elements. As an extra bonus, at one point a xylophone and some strings make a brief appearance.

The last song on the album is actually the only one with a title that doesn't automatically make sense. "Tonight October" starts off more the unique guitar stylings we started to hear in "Desolate". This time however, it's more of a plucking than a drawing. Still though, the technique is definitely "old school" and kind of cool to be recreated (and have actually worked!). Curiosity really grows for the live reproduction of this song/music. But it, in the end will most likely come down to the presentation (i.e. the venue). Because '80s stages differ greatly from '90s stages and those differ from our stages today. My guess: stick these guys in a low-lit room, good acoustics and 200 or less in attendance and the show will be good.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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