Monday, April 13, 2015

Natalie Pryce - Vol. II: The Ascent from Ego to Ego

To my ears, part of what makes Glasgow collective Natalie Pryce special is their bleak and grimy version of garage rock.  Perhaps the genre could be called rockabilly noir meets post punk desolation, but that lacks a marketing zing.  But I assure you that on their second LP, Vol. II: The Ascent From Ego To Ego, the gloomy and foreboding atmosphere doesn't mean mournful music.  The musicians swagger through rootsy grooves, while Mark Swan sneers, howls, pleads and croons throughout the thirteen tracks, each of which is titled with someone's name.  The other special aspect of the album is the immediacy, vitality and energy of the recordings.  The band insists on recording each song in one take, in analogue.  Certainly, some music benefits from multiple takes and overdubs.  Natalie Pryce's music is not designed to be such music.

The cultural touchstones giving life to the vignettes can be found in art, psychology, philosophy, sexual fetishism, dystopian fantasy  and fairly tales, all with this collective's dark twist and dashed romanticism distilled to cynicism.  If that puts you off, this album might not be for you, but you should at least give it a listen.  For me, it is an enthralling album, with the sort of songs you would expect to find in a Twilight Zone episode in which the protagonist gets lost on backroads in the fog and ends up in a roadhouse full of nightmarish characters.

This band makes music for music's sake, not for money.  The album can be downloaded free at this link (as can their debut LP), and streamed in full and downloaded at this Soundcloud link.

In addition to Mark Swan, the players in the Natalie Pryce collective are Steven Litts (bass), Greg Taylor (guitar) and Stephen Coleman (drums).  Ascent From Ego to Ego was recorded at Glasgow's Green Door Studio by Samuel Smith (frontman of WYMA favorite Casual Sex), and was financed via crowd funding.

Soundcloud stream of Ascent From Ego To Ego

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