08/28-Mon | The Prids @ Mohawk Place with Neyko: Imagine the sound of listening to your favorite band on headphones while halfway between the 23rd floor and the ground via the balcony and you may have just a fraction of an idea of what it is to hear The Prids bashing out articulate, gloomy post-punk in some dark club, some late night, in some lame town.
Until the World is Beautiful (five03) is a follow up to the band’s 2003 debut LP, Love Zero. Nailing down the heart-bursting experience of a Prids’ live show, the band’s latest record is an exponential build on all the things David Frederickson (vocals, guitar, pompadour) and Mistina Keith (bass, vocals, tough-as-nails) have been affected by in rock ‘n’ roll – music that is drunk on sadness, finds beauty in letting go, and keeps hope alive when things fall apart. Built on the foundations of obscure British post-punk (The Sound, early Wire, Comsat Angels), Until the World is Beautiful hits square in the chest. Seething keyboards, chiming guitars, fuzzed-out, melodic basslines, and hushed guy/girl vocals all buzz together to tug at the deeper roots of loss and living as hard as possible.
The story of The Prids goes like this…David found salvation after hearing Louder Than Bombs at one of the houses he used to crash at when he was just another messed up teenager kicked onto the street by his folks and mixed up in drugs and petty crime. He starts writing songs and playing guitar almost immediately. Later, Mistina sees David lead a so-so pop band through a set of songs at a house show in Missouri in the mid ’90s. Without ever picking up an instrument in her life, she convinces him that he should ditch those losers, walk hand-in-hand to the nearest pawnshop, buy cheap guitars and start a band. In another decade, instead of forming The Prids, David and Mistina would have boosted a car and left a wake of knocked-over banks from there across the dustbowl.
They bounce around the backwaters of Midwest scenes – Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and Saint Joseph, Missouri – before landing in Portland, Oregon in the late ’90s.
Somewhere in between, David and Mistina fell in love, got married and got divorced. They still live together in a sprawling, isolated house (referred to as either ‘The Compound’ or, less seriously, ‘Castle Sadmore’ by the same wide-eyed fans that sell out clubs and choke the band’s myspace site) surrounded by mud and trees and bursting with gear, obscure British post-punk vinyl, Kurt Vonnegut paperbacks and Morrissey posters.
Unlike the majority of bands on the scene, The Prids have never been a weekend project in the way that Van Gogh or Hemingway were never weekend hobbyists. While middle class trustfund bands were contemplating their next hairstyle in the suburbs, Mistina and David were giving each other prison-style Prids’ tattoos with sewing needles. While other bands start as a way to kill time before getting accepted to the right grad schools, David and Mistina – neither of whom bothered with college or even graduating high school – are in this for life.
If you don’t hear this just below the surface of Until the World is Beautiful – a poignant, loud album by a band tearfully aware that there will always be something equally brutal and beautiful about life – you aren’t listening.
The Prids are: David Frederickson (guitar, vocals), Mistina Keith (bass, vocals), Eric Hold (keyboards), Joey Maas (drums)