Wednesday, March 26, 2008

See The Prids, Buy Their Albums

Friday night I saw the band that has now become the band I've seen more times than any other, Portland's The Prids. It was, as usual, an excellent show. If you consider yourself anything of a post punk fan, and you've never seen The Prids perform live, you should be ashamed. They are one of the best live bands around, not because of any spectacular on stage antics, but simply by virtue of musicianship, stage presence, and honest (post) punk energy.

If you've never heard The Prids, their sound is centered around the juxtaposition of angry energy (nearly hardcore drumming, punk guitar and bass lines) with slower, more emotional elements (synth pads, poppier/gothier guitar and bass lines). But I'm not talking emo, screamo, emocore or any of that sort of nonsense. No, The Prids are a real post punk band influenced by real post punk pioneers like The Smiths, Joy Division, The Cure, The Chameleons, etc. This puts them roughly in the same genre as Interpol, She Wants Revenge, The Lovemakers, The Faint, Arcade Fire, and the whole Retro Post Punk scene.

The thing is, The Prids predate the next oldest of this current wave of post post punk / newer wave bands by at least two years -- and they are at least as good as the best of their competitors (and much better than the average of them). This is no weekend garage band. David Frederickson and Mistina Kieth, the songwriting core of the band, have been at this nonstop for over a decade -- since before The Prids were formally a band. The Prids work hard, tour often, and with two albums and three EPs, put out material as fast as the small labels they've so far attracted can afford it. All this comes through in the maturity, consistency, and originality of their work. I befriended The Prids when they were first touring (in support of their Duracraft CD EP), and from an already strong start they've only gotten better.

I can think of no underappreciated band more deserving of widespread attention than The Prids. This band deserves to be big. Their sound and aesthetic meshes perfectly with both generations of post punk, they are relentless hard workers, and their live shows are awesome even on a shoestring budget. If you've never heard The Prids, I recommend checking them out immediately -- and if they're playing in your area, definitely treat yourself to seeing them rock out a smaller local venue while you still can. (Other worthy, but lesser known, bands in this genre are Green Circles, Veil Veil Vanish and Red Voice Choir, all bands that have opened for The Prids).