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.
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