CD Reviews > The Prids

The Prids - Chronosynclastic
Velvet Blue Music

Chronosynclastic is a lovely addition to an already stellar line up of releases from Portland's own DIY favorites, The Prids. Reminiscent of early 90's shoegaze like Catherine Wheel and Slowdive (in particular with both David and Mistina's duel vocals) yet completely refreshing in their songwriting. Chronosynclastic is the third full length release from The Prids, and the first on Velvet Blue Music records.

This album did not happen over night, but after a culmination of many years of hard work. The band started with Mistina La Fave (bass, vocals) and David Frederickson (guitars, vocals) in Missouri in 1998. They released a handful of singles and e.p.'s in the past 15 years, and survived a divorce (David and Mistina once married); a move to Portland; and a serious car crash on tour in 2008. This reminds me of a Chinese proverb I read somewhere: “To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time; but we must keep on stepping”. The step for The Prids in their musical journey is Chronosynclastic.

Chronosynclastic is already one of my favorites, and if it doesn't catapult them into mainstream success I would be surprised. A must have for anyone who likes shoegaze, post-punk, or good solid pop music. Joining David and Mistina in the line-up for the band these days are Lee Zeman (drums), and Maile Arruda (keyboards).

The CD kicks off with the track "Hide Your Thoughts" which really takes the listener into a sonic guitar intro with big, sweeping guitars. Some real, solid hits are tracks like "I'll Wait", and "When I Wake", with catchy lyrics and pop sensibilities. Fallen to the side are the dark and gloomy influences in earlier works; replaced with this catchy, fresh, and energetic 10-song release.

Standout tracks also include "Sydney", and "In the Fall" (with its infectious guitar and keyboards). "Desolate" ventures into the atmospheric, with its layered rhythm guitar and even slide guitar. A slight country styling in the way of Mojave 3 and Mazzy Star can be heard in "Tonight, October" with its lapsteel guitar and tambourine percussion. Guest stars on the CD include Doug Martsch and Brett Nelson of Built to Spill.

Overall, Chronosynclastic finds the impulse to create a wall of sound with infectious guitar effects and technical virtuoso. The Prid's are following the CD release with a US tour; and although this album is a pure gem, nothing compares to their live performances - so catch them if you can this summer.

~Margaret Fenton