Review Summary: Quite simply the best EP you haven't heard.
I’m going to say it right now, truthfully and sincerely, loud and clear and for all to hear- Prawn is simply the best band I’ve heard in a long time. From the get-go, False Institutions
was an immediately paralyzing experience. To cite a personal experience, a build-up of relationship drama, large amounts of schoolwork, and a frustrating week of cross-country resulted in an understandable sort of apathy towards music for a week or so. Thankfully, False Institutions
turned up to rescue me from the same-old same-old of my musical life. Don’t get me wrong, the old favorites are always great, but I needed something new, I wanted something to get excited about, I was waiting for something like Prawn.
Prawn is a relatively obscure band who play a pretty distinct mixture of post-hardcore, post-rock, and 90’s emo (my apologies for the genre-dropping). If that doesn’t sound enticing, then I don’t know what does. Prawn is from New Jersey, but don’t let that discourage you from exploring my new personal favorite band. Please, let me be your guide into Prawn’s (surprisingly expansive) EP, False Institutions
. Though, before you begin listening, there’s a few things you should know about False Institutions EP...
1. They toured extensively with Moving Mountains last year. You can definitely hear the influence. It’s difficult for me to say so, but Prawn sounds predominately post-rock. They incorporate their style into this variety of music very well. Prawn takes a nod from Explosions In The Sky, but there’s no question that they successfully escape the “cookie-cutter post-rock” that quickly becomes bland. The 7-minute songs work very well, and they add a surprising amount of weight and substance for an EP.
2. The band put up False Institutions
for free download, here. http://www.mediafire.com/?zzt2jzzrmyq
3. Prawn’s main draw, in my opinion, is what I mentioned before- their distinct and seamless blending of genres. The vocals are very emo-esque. Most of the time the words just slowly filter out of the vocalists mouth with a nice slow drawl, and other times he can snap off one-liners like it’s nobody’s business.
4. The False Institutions EP
is the most confident I’ve felt towards a piece of music in a long time. I mean, it’s the feeling I first had when listening to what are now some of my favorite artists. Sometimes I can feel like an album may be a grower, or I can tell that I like it, just unsure of how much. False Institutions EP
is in a whole nother ball park.
5. The music reminds me very
distinctly of Brand New for some reason. (And no, Sputnik, not just
because I want to get you to listen to this.)
6. Prawn’s lyrics are as poignant as it gets, really. They aren’t incredibly depressing nor upbeat, but instead they have a sort of “this-is-just-how-it-is” style, very matter-of-factual. It reminds me of my pop-punk heroes Park, in this sense. Most of the content revolves around your typical emo repertoire- love, lost love, etc -but it’s the sincerity and sense of genuine emotion that has me so intrigued.
7. “Prawn” is NOT JUST another name for shrimp- no, they’re a badass band from Jersey, and they deserve a little attention.
8. “Courage Kills Men” is an absolutely fantastic behemoth of a song. The 7-minute epic is jam-packed full of intricate guitar lines and stupefying crescendos. This certainly isn’t the only
time Prawn strike gold, but the song is chocked-full of incredible moments.
9. False Institutions
is a superb concoction of both atmosphere and
emotion, and it’s able to make each of these aspects stand out clearly and naturally.
Rather than this EP simply being a prophesy of better things to come in the future, this is a damn good release that can stand on its own two feet. Despite a rather short track listing, False Institutions
gets the most out of it. From the fast-paced, raging (Trophy Scars-esque) “Arctic Foxes” to the drawn-out, emotional “Thousand Grains Of Sand,” Prawn dishes out a delightful amount of diversity, especially considering this is only an EP. Don’t get me wrong though, while False Institutions
is superb, it doesn’t quite cross into “classic” territory. The fact that they pull just a smidgeon
too much of obvious influence from other prominent bands makes it tough to give Prawn the highest level of distinction. That being said, it’s about time you give this a listen, don’t you think?