Saturday, April 20, 2024

Review: Prawn – KingFisher

Indie rockers Prawn formed in Ridgewood, New Jersey in the summer of 2007. The band has toured the United States, and self released two EPs and a tour demo. This September they will be on tour again – this time with TopShelf Records – hawking their stunning new album ‘Kingfisher‘.

For those of you who are not bird minded – the Kingfisher (although not a rare bird) is rarely seen. Shy (and very fast) the ancients thought that she only came ‘out’ to show her incredibly bright plumage on very special days. These days were considered very lucky – and were known as “Halcyon Days.”

In some cultures, the Kingfisher is considered sacred. Many believe that the birds have control over seas and waves. So you attend this new album by Prawn with an expectation of something grand and regal. And even special. And the opening track ‘Scud Running’ doesn’t disappoint.prawn_vice_670

This is gilded, like the folds of a snowfield, coloured by the sun. The voice almost is dusty – and it crackles – as it breathes in all the pollen dust that surrounds it. The guitars begin a spiral flight path – then they spread their wings, to slip away into a distant horizon.

‘First as Tragedy, Second as Farce’ has more of that squishy, turning, cresting guitar. And lots of hypnotic bubbling. The brain-box readers will already know this -but I should explain – the song is about history repeating itself. So you can expect some self-absorbed nostalgia. But it is fascinating and creative. This is a ravishing track.

‘Prolonged Exposure’ is the first song that sounds truly progressive. Guitars wake up gradually – like new buds on a spring morning. The voice gently waves and nods – like a corn-stalk in the breeze. And the wind picks up – in the form of an incisive lead guitar. And this brings the thing together – at the edges – with laces of silver wire.

‘Absurd Walls’ is one of the most satisfying tracks on this sumptuous album. It starts with a folk sentiment. Delicate and soft. The voice is full of sadness and regret.

‘Halcyon Days’ is also incredibly beautiful. Wafer thin guitars vie for attention. And the percussion is just choppy – never pounded. So the voice can make each careful step forward, in confidence. We especially liked the military drum work on this track. It seemed cold and pure. This track is a thin slice of paradise. A gift for the lucky ones.

This is an interesting and self-sufficient album full of charming corners and interesting nooks. Take care to re-listen, and it will reward you. It will calm your soul and provide you with magical strength. On a Halcyon Day.

The new album from Prawn ‘KingFisher’ is out 12th August 2014, via Topshelf Records.


Neil Mach
Neil Mach
RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

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