Review Summary: Prawn bring back the post-rock elements in full force and craft their best album to date
Bands blending emo, post-rock, and indie seems to becoming quite a trend. For a while it seemed liked only The Appleseed Cast and Moving Mountains were the proprietors of this fusion, but there seems to be plenty of bands coming out of the wood works cutting their teeth on this style. Prawn is most certainly one of these bands, and although they had abandoned many of their post-rock tendencies on their first full length You Can Just Leave It All Behind
, the post-rock is back in full force on the New Jersey four piece's newest release Ships
showcases Prawn at the top of their game, perfectly crafting and refining elements from their past releases, and while it doesn't bring anything new to the table, its well made and fun enough to be near the top of its genre.
Prawn have a very listenable vocalist. That normally wouldn't sound like much of a compliment, but considering how many out of tune crooners there are in the genre it says a mouth full. Ships
has a lot of instrumental sections so the vocals aren't the main focus in most of the songs, and when the singer does have to sing, he certainly does a good enough job of heightening the song without detracting too much from the instrumentation. "Spring River" has some nice catchy female vocals which gives Ships
a nice change of pace. The female vocals return later in the song for a nice trading off vocals section punctuated by a dense section with the ever so triumphant trumpet from earlier in the track returning to bring the song to a whole new level. Prawn definitely know how to build up and finish a song and they have a good enough vocalist make their songs feel complete.
Very impressive guitar work litters Ships, but Prawn certainly don't wank. They know exactly when to create an atmosphere with subtle riffs, when to build a song with chords, and when to break out into beautiful twinkly arpeggiated riffs. Most of the time the two guitarists are working independently, each having their own channel. It's not all about the guitar though, some well placed trumpet in tracks like "Donald Domesky" and the occasional female vocals add a neat dimension. It's hard to point out specific tracks that show off Prawn's impressive guitar work because there's always something special going on musically on Ships, and it shows that Prawn are at the top of their game instrumentally.
Prawn seem to do everything right on Ships. From its perfect balance of post-rock atmosphere and twinkly emo riffs, to its no filler 29 minute runtime, Prawn feel like a band that has finally found their sound and a band who knows exactly what they're doing. With the growth Prawn have made over their three releases, and with Ships being their best effort yet, it's easy to envision Prawn at the top of the emo food chain in the near future.