On Friday, Hamtramck's self-described "fuzz-pop trio trio" the Prude Boys
released a track for free from their forthcoming EP, Family Style Glamour
. It's the single version of "In the Alley." They play next at BFF Fest, held at MOCAD on July 25.
And check it; they have a few words to say!
The single, as well as the three other tracks on the EP, were recorded in Ypsilanti, Michigan by Ben Collins on an analog, 8-track reel-to-reel over the course of three short sessions in the Spring of 2015. Primary instrument tracks were recorded live, with secondary guitars and vocals overdubbed afterward. True to the band’s tradition, each track was done in only one or two takes. The group’s goal was to get as close to the raw, dirty sound and feel of their early cassette tape demos, while still improving upon the sound quality. The result is a sound strikingly close to a live performance, mistakes included. After all, isn’t the magic of a band the way the performers play together?
The uninhibited nature of the recording process is evident on the first single “In the Alley.” Tape buzz blankets the entire track, former drummer Sadie Slam’s stand-up kit is bombastic, both guitar and bass crackle under the weight of fuzz, and at points the vocals could almost be coming through megaphones.
Ever the lovers of classic soul and country, Prude Boys were struck with a song that contained a theme more prevalent in a bygone era: the romanticized infidelity. In the vain of some of the band’s favorite songs like “Long Black Veil” by Lefty Frizzell, and “The Dark End of the Street” by James Carr, the song revolves around two lovers who just can’t help but two-time with each other. Guitarist Quennton Thornbury takes the lead vocals on this particular track, going from a deadpan talking delivery to a fitful yowl, with bassist Caroline Myrick providing a sneering, girl group influenced backup vocal performance. Lyrically the song combines personal details as well as corny callbacks to those classic songs. Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of lyrics like “you’re the lightning to my thunder” the words are delivered with enough gumption and gusto to make you wonder if the singers might actually mean them.
Even with so much influence steeped in the canon of classic, mid-century American music the song never seems like a throwback or retread. The band easily avoids the trope of a 50’s or 60’s nostalgia band by being loud, fuzzy, and mean.