I'm only four tracks deep, but if nothing else, Prisonshake's Dirty Moons is the best-sounding, big, fat, analog, goopy mother-effer I've heard since Shellac's Excellent Italian Greyhound - and the thing is, i'm listening to the cds that came tucked in with the big, goopy 180-gram 2xlps... god knows what the vinyl experience'll be like. (btw, the music is not shellac-ish in the least, tho maybe it shares a similar wanton "pigfuck" sensibility.)
But the alb is so exciting - un-self-conscious rock music from people long past the absurd notion of playing rock music for a living, well-packaged, well-played and well-recorded because why not? - that it reminds me how contrived, rote, bland and by-the-numbers today's indie rock industry is. Anywho, I decide to google the alb, and lo and behold I run into this well-written review that begins with a lament on how contrived, rote, bland and by-the-numbers today's indie rock industry is. Moments later I discover it's written by WFMU's Mike Lupica..no wonder. He probably saw Prisonshake at Maxwell's on the Scat Insects of Rock Tour in 1994, too. Regardless, going by the continuing "holy shit! you remember that, too?" reaction his essential podcast evokes in me, I guess we're fellow travellers. But he's the articulate one, see?
Prisonshake harkens back to the days before the musical underground had been given the Rand-Mcnally road atlas treatment. Phenomena like Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could be Your Life may have established the idea of an underground rock ‘canon’, but the smaller bands who played the same field throughout the ’80s have aged with a more intriguing sense of style. One of the many charms of left-of-center music is that it’s a large and diverse enough universe for one to leap into along with a few close buddies, and all emerge on the other side with completely different stories and experiences. Nowadays, with many young kids sweating heavily over the reunions of criterion bands whose members are three times their senior, and those same kids shelling out untold thousands in festival dollars to see performances of ‘signature’ albums in their entirety, a lot of the visceral joy associated with loving something just because it’s cool and different has been lost. With the approval index at such all-consuming peaks and venture capitalists masking as tastemakers, it’s no wonder I’ve started listening to my Springsteen records again..
(You should read the whole damn thing over at Dusted for some context.)