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Prince Daddy & the Hyena - Prince Daddy & the Hyena Music Album Reviews

Prince Daddy & the Hyena - Prince Daddy & the Hyena Music Album Reviews
The Albany emo band takes a big swing with a concept album about the meaning of death, reimagining mall-emo, alt-rock, and pop-punk with a theatrical flourish that all works surprisingly well. 

In the span of three years, Albany emo band Prince Daddy & the Hyena went from writing songs about grilled cheese and weed to concept albums about the meaning of life (and also weed). And now, with another three years passing since 2019’s Cosmic Thrill Seekers, Kory Gregory’s next logical step is another massive leap—a concept album about the meaning of death. The narrative of Prince Daddy and the Hyena stars The Collector and The Passenger, two personifications of existential angst vying for Gregory’s soul; he also assumes you remember these characters from Cosmic Thrill Seekers. The plot is inspired equally by the band’s catastrophic van accident in 2018, Gregory’s month-long stay in a psychiatric hospital and, again, drugs. The only thing that’s missing is a libretto, either to keep track of the dialogue or use to roll a blunt.

But this time around, Gregory does not feel obligated to prime listeners with comparisons to The Monitor, American Idiot, or Welcome to the Black Parade. Reimagining mall-emo, alt-rock, and pop-punk with a theatrical flourish is just what Prince Daddy & the Hyena does now. If it lacks Cosmic Thrill Seekers’ shock value of seeing a couple of DIY pop-punk knuckleheads realizing their loopiest ambitions, Prince Daddy and the Hyena is even more impressive as proof of their dedication to craft, building on established strengths and wisely troubleshooting elsewhere. This is most apparent in the evolution of Gregory’s vocals, which in the past demanded either unshakeable devotion or instantaneous revulsion; even those with a tolerance for pop-punk tantrums would likely admit that Prince Daddy songs were catchy like rusty fish hooks, Gregory’s antagonistic register having as much in common with experimental noise as the Get Up Kids.

The lead single “Curly Q” imagines a heretofore inconceivable middle path—Gregory sings about his nephew the way he might sing to him, and it’s the most tender, overtly pretty Prince Daddy song to date. That is, at least until it swells into a lighter-waving finale, the first time Prince Daddy have exploded like a choreographed firework display rather than a bottle rocket set off in a cramped basement. If this approach happens to convince skeptics who steered clear because of the band name even before they ever heard a note, that doesn’t appear to be Prince Daddy’s primary focus. Rather, Gregory appears driven to develop an instrument versatile enough to keep pace with Prince Daddy’s ever-expanding sonic curiosity.

The album initially hints at an Abbey Road-style suite, a handful of brief songs conceived and resolved as completed experiments: Prince Daddy do Beach Boys, they do jangle-pop, they do strutting power-pop, they can still do a throwback rager to satisfy the fans who’ve kept the same P. Daddy hoodie since 2016. This appears to continue on “El Dorado”—Prince Daddy do Madchester—before the walloping chorus reorients the album to Prince Daddy’s true north, an upended mid-’90s hierarchy where Third Eye Blind, Veruca Salt, and Weezer are the most credible and influential bands of their era; yeah, there’s also some Radiohead in here, but it’s fittingly a couple of “Creep”-like chunks before the nine-minute “Black Mold” goes into Guitar Hero mode.

This on its own doesn’t distinguish any band on its own in 2022, particularly in a DIY diaspora oversaturated by alt-rock revivalism. But Gregory voice’s—both figurative and literal, even in a more palatable form—ensures that the album is always animated by an overwhelming emotional tumult rather than nostalgia. Gregory had been incapacitated by his obsession with mortality long before the pandemic forcibly made it a part of the daily discourse. Even the pithiest quotables—“Jesus Christ ate shit, now he thinks this life is his,” or, “Well I found my god, he’s as hollow as you figured”—serve as mile markers on his quests towards a spiritual epiphany that eludes Gregory every single time.

Yet for music that’s so rarely subtle, Gregory never sensationalizes; “I think I’ll send my own ass away to smooth out the wrinkles in my brain,” he shouts during “A Random Exercise in Impermanence (The Collector),” a typically self-deprecating way to describe being admitted to a mental health facility. Without any prior knowledge of the album’s backstory, it works just as well as a cry for freedom after another grueling, pointless day at the office—feel free to yell “enough, enough, I’ve had e-fucking-nough!” on the commute home. Or, to put it more bluntly, this music has zero chill—and why would it, when death doesn’t either?

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Prince Daddy & the Hyena - Prince Daddy & the Hyena Music Album Reviews Prince Daddy & the Hyena - Prince Daddy & the Hyena Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, May 03, 2022 Rating: 5

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