Release Date: Jan 18, 2011
Record label: Kanine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop
Everything Young Prisms makes is wrapped in a thick, tight haze. It goes from mysterious to sunny and back again on every song, and often the only thing defining any melody is the reverb rich vocals and the driving bass. Delay and effects drape every song on the album. The lyrics are barely audible, but it doesn’t really matter.
In only a short time after forming, the S.F. noise pop group Young Prisms became a pretty hot commodity in the indie rock world. They recorded singles and EPs for some of the most impressive taste-making labels around at the time (Mexican Summer, Transparent). After landing with Kanine (also no slouch in the hipness stakes), they got to work on an album.
Although there's nothing overtly summery about San Francisco's Young Prisms, their debut album is evocative of sun-soaked afternoons spent lying on the deck with headphones cranked, oblivious to everything but the warmth on your face and the music in your ears. Fuzzy washes of guitar and unintelligible vocals that blend with the instruments are in keeping with the style of many classic shoegaze bands. But while this is an atmospheric record, it's also upbeat and poppy enough to encourage dancing or at least vigorous head-nodding.
Suspension of disbelief is a pretty powerful thing. Imagine for a second that you’re looking directly at the sun through a kaleidoscope, the whole spectrum of warm colors dancing about effortlessly. The orange diamonds and yellow hexagons swirling together, mesmerizing. It’s bright, it’s beautiful.
Do not be fooled by the triangles and female nudity on the album cover: San Francisco's Young Prisms have absolutely nothing to do with witch house or whatever. The contents in their cauldron: shadowy, reverb-smothered guitar rock-- something that's never been in short supply, sure, but that doesn't diminish how well-timed the band's debut LP, Friends For Now, feels. In case your issue of Indie Rock Gossip ended up in your neighbor's mailbox last month, the knotty Canadian indie rockers in Women spectacularly dismantled on stage at the tail end of 2010, leaving a potential void for similarly styled up-and-comers to take their place while the band works their shit out.
This San Francisco band recalls a calmer assault, similar to The Aislers Set of a decade ago from that city, but with muffled male (rather than an alluring female) vocals buried in the steady waves of noisy pop. Like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Young Prisms combine a love for late-‘60s wall-of-sound Southern California melody from the slightly psychedelic detour into a head full of sand and with a determination to cover up that sunny vibe with lots of guitar, drums, keyboards, and distortion. The results may make this group’s album louder than that by another of their municipal peers, Film School, but again, the resemblance to early-‘90s shoegazing establishes yet another familiar connection.