Young Prisms

Friends for Now

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In only a short time after forming, the S.F. noise pop group Young Prisms became a pretty hot commodity in the indie rock world. They recorded singles and EPs for some of the most impressive taste-making labels around at the time (Mexican Summer, Transparent). After landing with Kanine (also no slouch in the hipness stakes), they got to work on an album. Friends for Now shows what all the fuss was about. Though Young Prisms aren't really breaking any new ground with their noisy, melodic sound that draws heavily from shoegaze and neo-psych, as well as Sonic Youth in their Daydream Nation prime, what they do with their accumulated influences is impressive. The album is loaded with massive-sounding guitars that gather in squalling walls of noise, yet have a lightness about them that helps keep things from getting too heavy. Through the haze come the vocals, snaking through the songs to cast spells when the boys in the band sing or bring an icy calm when Stefanie Hodapp takes over. The blend of vocals and guitar, sound and feel, is pretty close to perfect. The songs themselves have a lot of sudden twists and turns, shifting tempos and dynamics at just the right moments for maximum effect. There aren’t any singalong choruses or giant hooks that reach out and grab you, though; it’s more the kind of album that slowly works its way into your brain. You have to hand it to the tastemakers; they knew what they were talking about with Young Prisms. You’d be hard-pressed to find better noise pop/rock than this in 2011.

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