The spontaneous regeneration of THE PREFAB MESSIAHS continues to be one of the best left field surprises of the past few years. For those in need of a history lesson, the group started their life back in the early 1980’s as a band of young, scrappy, left field, DIY, post-punk, garage-psych-pop provocateurs, and a part of the Wormtown (Worcester, MA) underground scene. It was there they spent time kicking around with private press legend Bobb Trimble, playing local gigs warming up for bands like Mission of Burma, and recording a ton of spiky, retro-delic rockers.
Was your rock band in college that cool? The answer is probably not. For those keeping score at home, only a few tracks of the band’s output managed to sneak out during their brief lifespan. Most of the stuff they recorded was eventually collected and finally released on their most excellent anthology, Devolver, which was released on Burger Records a few years back.
Flash forward to 2018 – Psychsploitation… Today! is the group’s first full-length album since returning from their Reagan-era status and is the follow up to 2015’s excellent maxi-EP, Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive. Using the psychedelic sounds of the mid-to-late 60’s as their modus operandi, the Prefabs have put together a solid set of day-glo tunes with their latest long player.
Even though their sound most definitely hearkens back to that golden age of jangly Rickenbackers and Beatle boots, the group is not content to simply be a revival act regurgitating the sounds of yesteryear. There’s a punk energy and urgency to these proceedings. Take for example the Drumpf in Pepperland pastiche of “The Man Who Killed Reality,” which if you squint your third eye just enough, you might think belongs on some alternate universes’ Yellow Submarine soundtrack. Despite the band’s best efforts to turn on, tune in, and drop out in “Having A Rave Up,” or jam on monster hooks in the appropriately titled “Monster Riff,” the darkness of our modern times just seems to keep creeping up on them; whether it’s a “Warm Sinking Feeling,” the universal concerns of getting older on “Gellow Mold,” or the apocalyptic album closer “Last Day On Earth.”
Perhaps it’s in troubled times like these we need bands like The Prefab Messiahs most. It almost goes without saying that it’s great to have them back.
BUY the cassette from Burger Records (also available as a CD)
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The Prefab Messiahs on Bandcamp
Frans Kafka 7″ (Almost Ready Records)
Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2011 – #26