Prism Tats — Star Gazing in a Dream

Prism Tats

Looking for the perfect album for your next road-trip? Prism Tats have delved into the long drive with their self-titled debut album, Prism Tats.

The whole album radiates with this on the road vibe. Swishing trees, dripping into deeper shades, pulling all-nighters on the road to reach random destinations. With Prism Tats, Prism Tats have created a unique testament by morphing modern music with vintage elements of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘90s, and ‘00s.

Prism Tats Blazes Forward

“Pacifist Masochist” pierces open with a siren frog-horn sound. Above the rebellious energy from the drums and bass synth, the commanding vocals take full control of the song, puzzling the melodic phrasings into the perfect fit with the instrumentals.

By blending punk elements with alternative rock qualities, Prism Tats have created an angsty freedom, echoing in the tornado harmonies enveloping the instrumentals.

“Creep Out // Freak Out” is a mix of howling and taunting vocals on top of devilish guitar. The tough rock/surf rock of the guitar is a subtle contrast to the dream pop vocalization, and melds seamlessly together. The guitar riffs at the end of the song are supersonic, out-of-this world, shredding just below the genuine relatability of the vocals.

“Make the Most of the Weekend” is a recurring dream sequence, a song on loop, layering sounds on top of one another with suspended notes in a syncopated rhythm. With wood block sounds measuring the meter and hollow harmonies merging over the different beats of the drums, “Make the Most of the Weekend” is full of cave dwellings sounds: mermaids singing in a cenote and the sky streaming by above you.

Just the title of “Midnight Mountain” makes me envision those far-off nights now, from childhood, stargazing on the grass in the summer. It is easy to get sucked into the vision of a dark sky with bright stars; a trance for thought to ruminate in.

As the rhythm waves on a pirate’s plank, turning major into minor, the James Mercer tone of the vocals strike another familiar chord with David Byrne’s chops, hypnotizing the avid listener into introspective thought and Talking Heads synchronizations.

I had been trying to pinpoint the familiarity of the vocals, when “Death or Fame” began, instantly giving me shivers of The Shins with a hint of Broken Bells.

Using the unusual melting quality of the guitar and cool electronic sounds of an incredible backbeat, the different beats of “Death or Fame” are fleshed out in a splendid paranoia: a haunted house at an amusement park.

“Haunt Me” reflects back to “Pacifist Masochist,” with the same siren sounds of the bass synth and drums. The wrenching vocals show a real versatility in range, which will “haunt me to my grave.” Underneath this yowling are harmonies a la The Beatles with a ‘60s sounding beat a la The Kinks.

Prism Tats closes with a retrospective song, “Know It All,” the perfect conclusion to the album. As a crying, sad drone radiates in the backdrop, I got to thinking about the ending of Garden State; a sort of wounded happiness of being alone but also knowing that hope still exists. With a brief acapella ending and a shuddering sound wave, “Know It All” stays with you, clearing you into a state of placidity.    

So take Prism Tats on the road, feel the urgency and immensity of the instrumentals, the stimulating and intricate beats, and listen to the pure wails from the vocals as they transfer from present to past, paving the way for a very interesting future.

Keep driving forward, Prism Tats, because I think we are all in for a real awakening and a smooth ride.

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