I disappeared again. Sorry guys. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you I am the queen of strep throat. I get it often yet always power through. Honestly, I was due for a good bout of strep as I haven’t had it since the world shut down and shows seized so I wasn’t super shocked when I woke up on Wednesday that that familiar feeling and taste in my throat but I was surprised by how much it knocked me on my butt. No need to fear though, I am back in action and ready to jump into some more new music started with Pricked’s brand new release ‘Undo / Redo’.
The plastic around the cassette proved difficult for me but, as soon as I finally got it ripped off and got the tape in my player and hit the blessed ‘play’ button, I was catapulted into the world that is Pricked and I never wanted to leave. “Stayed Awake” kicks off this all too quick six-song release with a sense of power and fury. Hazy guitars blanketed my house before aggressive and fuzzy vocals took over. I can not downplay the amount of energy that is in this opening track. It’s a hell of a way to kick off an album with how it brings you in, slaps you in the face, and makes you super excited to see what else this album will bring.
“Dead Air” is full of anything but dead air. Although not as aggressive as “Stayed Awake”, there’s an undeniable sense of power in this track. The vocals seem a little less angsty and just a wee bit more emotive while the instrumentation stays in your face and is a bit abrasive. It’s a perfect blend of two very different worlds and it’s a blend that I think only Pricked can pull off. This was an instant favorite track of mine because of this perfect balance. Most of the tracks on this album are quick and punchy and, although “Dead Air” is just as punchy and explosive as the rest, the three and a half minutes of this track allow you to really get a taste for the creativity this band has with a few instrumental breaks that really catch you off guard.
The feeling of chaos and aggression comes back loud and clear in the vocals for “City Folk”. A little desperation and a whole lot of attitude, this was another instant favorite of mine. Although I would absolutely use the word chaotic to describe this track, there’s a method to the madness that makes this a flawless listen if you’re into more abrasive and in-your-face kinds of music. I honestly could have used a little breather after the power of “City Folk” but Pricked continues with the onslaught of energy and power as the album moves into “Hysterical Blindness”. The vocals really stood out to me on “City Folk” but they seem to take a bit of a backseat to the instrumentation in “Hysterical Blindness”. Although this is the shortest track on the album at just a hair over two minutes, you really get an inside look at the true musicianship of the members of this stellar band.
“Thirsty” is more of the same from Pricked. Abrasive, in your face, aggressive and flawless with a hazy mood behind it. Although I would criticize most bands for really not varying much in a recording and not showing me different sides of themselves, Pricked’s sound is just so distinct and there are so many intricate layers that I can’t criticize them. All I could do as this track played through was sit back and just nod at every note and every drum hit because they were all so perfect. Chaotic, but perfect.
This six-song release ends with “Top Drawer” which, again, is just so distinctively Pricked. I love how even though this is the last song on the album, the band doesn’t try and give you anything different or end on a delicate note or sound. They continue to blast your ears with their power and garage-rock aggression until the bitter end and it seriously couldn’t be more perfect.
My Favorite Track(s): “Dead Air”; “City Folk”
For Fans Of: Sheer Power; Controlled Chaos
Mosh-ability: 9 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn chased birds through the front window
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.9 out of 10
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