The Prids, fronted by ex-lovers Mistina La Fave and David Frederickson, recently released their first album in 7 years Do I Look Like I’m In Love? on This-A-Way Records! It’s an intense, powerful post-punk/shoegaze gem from a band who truly doesn’t get enough praise for how talented they are. La Fave and Frederickson formed the band during the 90’s in Missouri. They’ve come such a long way since then, and the new album clearly speaks to that with its big sound.
Naturally the album begins with an instant hit, “Summer Cult”, which opens with a strong, dark bass line. The creeping guitar has a melancholy Cure feel to it, the vocals powerful and sobering. The lyrics feel raw and personal. The uplifting chorus gets stuck in my head pretty often, likely due to the relatable lyrics paired with an ethereally uplifting guitar. “Somewhere new in you is bleeding / You wanna feel it but you know you don’t” is my favorite line. Everything about this song from the instruments to the lyrics blends the line between shoegaze and postpunk nicely in a way not
Feedback and a faster beat kick off “Elizabeth Ann”, yet another strong track on the record for completely different reasons. The guitar lines are catchy as hell and the vocals come in so loud and crisp, you can’t help but get excited when you listen to it. This is another one that gets stuck in my head frequently, especially the chorus, but the best line is: “Sometimes I can’t wait to die / and you’re laughing / and I know that you understand”. “Do I Look Like I’m In Love?” for which the album is titled, is what I mean when I say the album feels like a classic. It starts off slower and darker than the previous track and the drumming on this song is reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Indeed the title sounds like it could be a Smiths song, but it really encapsulates a unique postpunk sound the band has uniquely perfected over time. The guitar and bass lines compliment each other stunningly.
I instantly fell in love with “Lie Here” because I felt a strong personal connection to the lyrics. “So I lie here / So it stays the same” is easily understood by those of us who have been too depressed to leave our beds for days on end. While the lyrics might sound depressing, this one is uplifting and dreamy in sound, especially between the synth and guitar. The ending is I’d probably show somebody this track. “Haunted” has a beautiful piano line and equally beautiful, ghostly vocals. The drumming is relaxing and the guitar is dreamy. The frantic bass line throughout the song completely offsets this, giving it that same depth we’re familiar with The Prids having while also making the song a lot more danceable. The chorus is absolutely amazing.
“English Treasure” is easily one of the more ethereal songs on the album. It gives me peaceful underwater imagery. It’s almost completely instrumental (vocals come in for the last minute and a half), and I think it comes at exactly the perfect moment on the album. I really think those first five tracks are some of the strongest on Do I Look Like I’m In Love?, it’s as though this track is giving us a break from the intensity and allowing us to drink in what we just heard. It’s the perfect segue into the second half of the record.
The intro to “Mangled Hearts” isn’t unlike the sound of “English Treasure”, but sounds a little more video game-like with fun, bubbling synths. Mistina sings solo on this one in a high pitched, dreamy, melodic tone. I could easily imagine this song in a feature film, it’s gorgeous. “Colliding” has some fun warbling effects, and the chorus boasts one of the best guitar lines on the whole album and more of my favorite lyrics: “I look around and see the way it goes / From the little bit I get I pretty much know / You only get one so let’s avoid the cold”.
“The Shape” is my all time favorite song on the album by a mile. It opens with the sound of someone crying and a low bass line. The vocals/lyrics completely make this song. If I could only show somebody one Prids song, it would easily be this one. The guitar is absolutely fantastic too; there are long interludes between the verses. It has an insane build-up toward the end. I love that they don’t tease the energy their music forms, they only keep dishing it out.
From here, “I Remember Everything” is much lighter and more shoegazey, harkening back to Summer Cult. I has a slow, sad intro which eventually leads to a looser, relaxed sound. The dual vocals are soar dreamily over low, mellow guitar. Appropriately the song flows like waves for a while after the vocals. The record finishes out with the melodic “Valley Saints”, which coincidentally features the line “Offering closure and playing your favorite song”. The verses are sung by David with Mistina harmonizing, but the chorus, which has no vocals, feels like a completely different song.
Obviously I have a TON of favorites on this album; the songs feel very classic, really not unlike The Smiths or The Cure. It’s easily some of the best postpunk I’ve heard in a long time because of how diverse and magical the songs are. Is there anything they can’t do? You can purchase the album on vinyl and CD (as well as some awesome t-shirts) now via their official site. Be warned, there are less than 50 vinyl copies left and it will not be repressed!
The Prids also have four tour dates in California coming up very soon: