ALBUM PREVIEW: Prawn – ‘Run’

Posted by Zyllah Moranne-Brown on Monday Sep 18, 2017 Under Album Review, Indie

Review by Kirsty Hillyer.

Prawn are a slow burn band, they create space in the brain on a reflective autumnal day. ‘Run’ is not a record that demands attention from the very first listen; which leaves it open for the most intense criticism as a follow up to their sophomore record ‘Kingfisher’.

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The strings and things nature of ‘Kingfisher’ offered an emotive ambition that conveyed a depth of narrative and feeling not achievable by the limited range of Tom Clarke’s vocals. I was hoping that with ‘Run’, Prawn might find a middle ground between the expansive ‘Kingfisher’ and their debut ‘You Can Just Leave It All’.

Sadly, the themes of isolation and alienation provide a reservation in fully inviting the listener in. ‘Hunter’ delivers a hopeful resignation with borderline choral harmonies, which don’t quite break the veneer of controlled emotion. The echoing line of ‘I hope it’s enough because love I am ready’ leaves traces of a sadness that there is potentially never enough.

With Prawn you have to dig a bit deeper and pay attention to pick up on lyrical gems as ‘a straight line bend to fit’ tucked away in ‘Snake Oil Salesman’. It feels like an album filled with a fear of letting go. They’ve sacrificed raw, personal experience in favour of universal narratives that lack the meat of the matter. A cold observational and outsider distance is created echoing in the reserved and restrained gang choruses woven throughout.

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‘Rooftops’ is the only album track that really pushes the edge of that control and allows the veneer to slip. I say this not just because of the use of the word ‘f***ed’ but the building intensity from twee whistling and light-hearted guitars before the threads of feeling apart from our environment and community unravel. It’s easy to see why this track was an early tease.

Closing track ‘Split Logs’ weaves a familiar melody and guitars for any original emo fan; the album ending in a comfortable space. This is an album that requires more spins but I fear it will lose out to stronger, newly released offerings from the likes of Hot Water Music, where I can find more emotional grit.

The growing success and UK fan bases for bands like Turnover and Sorority Noise could easily pave the way for Prawn to make an impact with this album. Rewards don’t always come easily, sometimes you need to put in the work, as a listener you certainly do. If you’re heading out to see The Flatliners next month then I can recommend making a point of going early to check out Prawn and to experience this album live.

For fans of: Turnover, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and Old Gray

‘Run’ by Prawn is released on 22nd September on Topshelf Records in digital, CD, vinyl and cassette formats.  Prawn will be on tour with The Flatliners across the UK from 12 October 2017.

Track Listing
1. Hunter
2. Snake Oil Salesman
3. North Lynx
4. Cricket In The Ward
5. Hawk In My Head
6. Empty Hands
7. Short Stem
8. Rooftops
9. Leopard’s Paw
10. Greyhound
11. Split Logs

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