LP1 is the debut by Montreal punks PRIORS. With the combination of garage rock, hardcore instrumentals, and snotty, half-yelled, half-sung vocals, LP1 is likely to please fans of The Blood Brothers, Swain, and Single Mothers.
PRIORS feel like a band that is meant to be listened to in a live setting; the style of production used on LP1 certainly lends itself to that. “We recorded at a DIY space called Drones with Christian Simmons. It’s got a really cool vibe but does not feel like a studio in the live room at all. We did everything off the floor, no click and to tape,” said frontman Chance Hutchinson. Typically, when a band starts to discuss their lo-fi recording style, my eyes roll to the furthest depths of the back of my head. For PRIORS, however, lo is the way to go. It’s gritty, imperfect, and honest.
My favourite moments on LP1 are when the band branches out into more experimental territory. The more melodic feel on songs like “Hungry for Love” and “Bottom Feeder” show that PRIORS can write a catchy song without sacrificing any of their intensity. The guitar work on “Reality” and “Big Love” are other standout moments on the album, leaving me curious to see what the band will do on upcoming releases.
The problem I have with this release is that PRIORS could really stand to trim some of the album’s fat. While the album is only about twenty minutes long, songs like “Intermediate” still manage to make it feel like it’s dragging. Listening back, I find myself wanting to skip past the opening track “Story Blind” in favour of the far more interesting “Disgrace.” Similarly, “Internal Wasted,” my favourite track on the album, serves as a much better closer than “Old Boys Club.” Where the former reminds listeners one last time that the band’s music can beat you over the head one minute and have you humming along another, the latter fails to properly sum up their talents.
In short, PRIORS show a lot of potential with this debut release but, to my ears, LP1 should have been EP1.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Kate Erickson