To anyone familiar with the “emo revival” movement, it isn’t merely a monolithic cult of American Football & Mineral copycats. Sure, you may find a good number of bands on Bandcamp whose music is impossible to decipher from the thousands of others listed under the “emo” or “twinkle” tag, but the movement is much more than that. Take Prawn for example, a New York/New Jersey-based quintet. While the band may be lumped with other revival groups, Prawn is a special member of this emo renaissance, combining post-rock and indie-rock influences with the traditional emo mentality to make something truly special. Kingfisher, the group’s third LP, is a testament to Prawn’s full ability, putting them a step ahead of their peers in the “emo revival”.
From the first notes of “Scud Running”, it is clear that Kingfisher is big. Not in terms of guest stars and production value (which is great to say the least), but in sheer power. Prawn’s style is a combination of indie-rock, post-rock and emo, chock full of emotional instrumentals, raw vocals and the occasional punch of horns. It is sure to give Moving Mountains fans something to smile about. The band can be intense, introspective, or dark at any given moment, with each song feeling slightly different from the last.
Not only does the band command power, but they invoke it in a special way. Songs like “Dialect Of…” & “Thalassa” force the listener to feel the music in their bones, something that helps to carry the album throughout. Less intense offerings like “Old Souls” and “Absurd Walls” however, don’t have hooks begging to be yelled, rather, they have of emotional intimacy that is thrown at the listener. Whether it’s the Balance and Composure-esque guitar melodies, or the reeling percussion, throughout Kingfisher, Prawn possesses a sort of emotional power and intensity that carries over into their melodies and rhythms, which help to make the record what it is.
While Prawn’s earlier work shares the qualities that make Kingfisher great, this album may be their most cohesive and captivating display of talent yet. While they have always been a good band, there always seemed to be something missing, as they were never able to fully balance their emo melodies with their post-rock cadences and indie-rock essence. On Kingfisher, the band successfully mixes all of their respective ideas into one pot and puts them together like never before.
Before Kingfisher, Prawn was nothing more than another “emo revival” band. Sure, they stood out because they were one of the best, but it wasn’t like they were light years beyond the rest of the pack. They, like all bands should, were looking to improve themselves and become the best band possible. While they were pretty close before,this album shows us what Prawn is made of. The record is the definition of what makes the band great. A cohesive work, Kingfisher is sure to show fans another layer of what Prawn is all about, and show the true colors of the “emo revival” to a whole new audience.