September 9, 2005

CD Review: The Prom Kings - The Prom Kings

Every so often an album comes along that is mind numbingly bland, you just have to shout it from the rooftops. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those albums. Conversely, it also isn't one that anyone is going to be singing the praises about it wither. It left, essentially, no impression on me. The music wasn't awful, but there was nothing that helped it stand out from the crowd.

I have listened through the album a few times, and I don't think I could name one standout song. It all just blended into one long song. I was reminded of listening to the radio , which I do very little of because of the annoying sameness to it.

In a few places I have read descriptions of their music such as "a white knuckle assemblage of scorched earth anthems, funk inflected dance rockers, goth metal epics and spiraling, orchestral ballads that reconcile hard rock and emo sensibilities." I am still trying to figure out how that comes anywhere near describing this band. I sense no funk or dance influences. Spiraling, orchestral ballads? I don't think so. And the most egregious of descriptions "goth metal epics," were we listening to the same album? There is nothing even close to being described as goth, much less, metal on this album.

This band falls into that new wave of emo-rock, which for some reason I just don't seem to get. It is a nothing album that some young high school kids maybe able to latch onto for awhile, claiming that they can identify with the "emotionally charged" lyrics of their songs. That is, until another flavor of the week comes along.

I don't want to sound like I'm ripping on them, I am generally easy to please when it comes to music. Every once in awhile though, something comes along that just doesn't agree with me. I am sure these are all good guys who work hard at what they are doing, they music just hasn't found a welcome home in my head. This is also why I started to abandon the radio, the music just sounds too much alike.

The Prom Kings do have a pretty good singer in Chris Carney. He is probably the best part of the band. Chris has a good voice, one that emotes well, if too often. The music is dramatic, in the soap opera sense filled with open chords and finely placed drums. The rest of the band, Joey Hallearn (guitar), Mauricio Brandao (bass) and Luke Pickerill (drums), all fill their roles in the music, although it doesn't leave much room for individuality. Everything fit into an overproduced package.

There is something to be said about raw immediacy in music, sometimes it sneaks up on you, sometimes it is thrust in your face, and sometimes it is produced right out of the product. Take, for example, another album I reviewed recently, Alice Cooper's Dirty Diamonds, there is an album that has a raw intensity to it, giving ever the lesser songs a feeling of power. That is something that is missing here. The result of over production is music that loses it's heart, no matter how much the band tries to inject it with a little feeling.

Bottomline. The Prom Kings is a swing and a miss, despite the presumed best efforts of the band. It is overproduced and molded into the current radio friendly rock style. It almost makes you wish they would rebel, go independent and produce some real music.

Not Recommended.


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