Monday, March 12th, 2012
Young Prisms at Sonic Boom in Toronto
Frank YangA little time off can be nice, but as much as I was enjoying the very unusual but welcome two-week break from show leading up to SXSW this week, it was also making me a bit antsy. Thank goodness for the Young Prisms in-store at the new Kensington Market location of Sonic Boom, in advance of their show that evening at The Drake. It would give me a quick, convenient way of scratching the live music itch and also let me pick up some LP sleeves. Everybody wins.
I saw the San Francisco outfit last February opening up for The Radio Dept., and while their dream-pop tended more to the murkier side than I’d like, they were a charming crew and so young that they could have grown plenty in the elapsed time. After all, In Between – the follow-up to their 2011 debut Friends For Now – was already done and coming out in a few weeks; it seemed highly unlikely that they would still be the same band as they were a year ago.
Turns out that was true in the literal sense – they were now a five-piece with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Ashley Thomas to the mix, and while her presence didn’t totally invert their sound, it made a difference. They still sounded very much like My Blood Valentine mixed with morphine – the opiate, not the band – being loud and fuzzy yet not especially aggressive, but the tunefulness that they previously seemed to prefer buried was now being allowed to surface. The second guitar was able to pick out melodies overtop of the churning bed of glider guitar and pounding rhythm section and when Thomas and lead vocalist Steph Hodapp harmonized as they did on new song, “Four Hours (Away)”, well it was clear that Young Prisms had a potent new instrument at their disposal.
Based on a few songs, it’s hard to say too definitively how far Young Prisms have come – the new record isn’t out until March 27 – but it sounds as though they’re mixing some Slowdive romanticism into their MBV sonic stew, and that can only be a good thing. And if these reference points have no meaning or interest to you, then you’d best just move along.
NYCTaper is sharing a recording of the band’s show in New York last week.
Photos: Young Prisms @ Sonic Boom (Kensington) – March 10, 2012
MP3: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”
MP3: Young Prisms – “Sugar”
MP3: Young Prisms – “Weekends And Treehouses”
Video: Young Prisms – “Floating In Blue”
Video: Young Prisms – “These Daze”
Video: Young Prisms – “Breathless”
Video: Young Prisms – “Sugar”
NPR is streaming a complete Shins concert in New York last week while JAM and The Line Of Best Fit share interviews with James Mercer; their new record Port Of Morrow is out March 20 and they’re at The Molson Amphitheatre August 4.
Hey, remember Garbage? They certainly hope so. They’ve got a new album called Not Your Kind Of People coming out May 15 and will be embarking on a short tour that ends at The Phoenix in Toronto on May 28.
Video: Garbage – “Vow”
Class Clown Spots A UFO – the second album of the reunited Guided By Voices era is coming in June and the first sample is available to stream. It’s gorgeous. Details on the release and Bob Pollards new solo record – of course there’s another new Bob record – are available at Pitchfork.