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Album Review: Prince Daddy and the Hyena – “Cosmic Thrill Seekers”

Here’s the short version: Cosmic Thrill Seekers is a great fucking album. There I said it. If that’s all you need to know, you can load up Spotify and move on. There lies good music. 

Now, here’s the long story: Prince Daddy & the Hyena are a raucous emo act from Albany, New York. But, you could just as easily call them ambitious pop punk, if you were so inclined. Their sound is one of massive hooks, snarling and gravel-affected vocals, trilling guitar lines, and Jeff Rosenstock bells and whistles (mostly literally). Cosmic Thrill Seekers is a concept album about the long-felt fallout of a bad trip, each song melding into the next in perfect cohesion. From start to finish, the listener is treated to a personal, aspirational, and bombastic experience that might just be the culmination of not only a sound, but of a scene. 

“I Lost My Life” begins the album with strummed chords and a gentle melody before introducing lead singer’s Kory Gregory growl of a vocal. Being unfamiliar with Prince Daddy & the Hyena’s work prior, I wasn’t expecting such a labored tone—honestly sounding more like the rough singing voice of Scott “Stza” Sturgeon than the clear and conversational tone of bands like Mom Jeans and Modern Baseball. It grows on you though, and it’s inclusion ties it into the greater tradition of punk music, rather than gating it off in the much more respectable emo community. And I think that’s an important element of Prince Daddy’s sound here. Cosmic Thrill Seekers is an amalgam of musical influences (I hear stirrings of American Idiot, Welcome to the Black Parade, and The Monitor being some of them), but its delivery is youthful and expressive. In the same way older punks balk at the theatrics of the genre, Prince Daddy wallows in them. 

The angular solos and big shout-alongs of “I Lost My Life” lead to “Lauren (Track 2),” which could potentially be my song of the summer. It’s opening lyric, “Lauren! So glad you heard me calling!” is the sort of line that can unite a crowd. The riff that precedes it, noodling guitars punctuated with power chords, opens the song with explosive energy. It feels like hot summer nights staring into a wide-open future. Prince Daddy & the Hyena excel at writing earworms molded by their own idiosyncratic musical vision; throughout Cosmic Thrill Seekers hooky pop songs are transformed into frenetic punk rock, but they do it by knowing which buttons to press. Sometimes the guitar is this great rumbling force, sometimes it’s not playing nearly as much as you think it is; the band goes from tremolo leads to arpeggio picked bridges complete with falsetto vocals. If there’s one thing Prince Daddy understands, it’s that a song never need be boring. And this sense of constant change, of dynamic arrangement, makes for a much more intense and engaging listen than if they were played straight, so to speak. 

One of my favorite songs, “Slip”, begins with an alt-rock chord riff with a couple drum hits as emphasis. From there, it explodes into a verse so emotionally intense that the melody comes out in spite of the Kory Gregory’s near-screams. It’s chorus is one of the highlights of the album for me, and it features a handful of lyrics that feel intimate and personal (“He says all my friends are so hard to read…”), which become the seeds for rousing anthemics. This is a common thread throughout Cosmic Thrill Seekers, and perhaps it’s greatest triumph: the sublimation of personal experience into something loud, vital, and exciting. 

Without a doubt, this is an album that’ll come up again and again for the rest of the year. It’ll be talked about in top ten lists, and for a lot of us, it’ll be one of those albums that follows you around for the rest of your life. And really, it’s easy to see why. Cosmic Thrill Seekers has the songs to make it possible. The instrumentation is exciting, but nothing anyone who’s listened to PUP or Jeff Rosenstock hasn’t heard in some way or another. The concept is interesting, but Direct Hit! did a drug related concept album just the other year. But, the songs—the songs here form a steady foundation for everything else to be built on, and subsequently flourish. And now that these songs are out in the world, I, for one, am better for it. It’s as simple as that. 

 



Bakers Eddy (pop-punk, Australia) release music video for “Can’t Afford It”

Melbourne, Australia pop-punk act Baker’s Eddy have released a video for their new single, “Can’t Afford It,” which was released by the bands’ new home, Ivy League Records, on July 10th.

You can check out the video below.

Bakers Eddy last released the single “Jack Shit For You” in September 2017.



ROAM release ‘Piranha’ from upcoming album

UK pop punkers Roam release new album Smile Wide on September 6th via Hopeless Records. Follow recent single “I Don’t Think I Live Here Anymore“, the band have released a second single from the record, “Piranha”.

You can have a listen below.



Chaos Reigns (UK Hardcore) release video for “Swan”

London, UK hardcore quintet Chaos Reigns have released a video for new single “Swan”. The track is taken from upcoming EP A Horrific Accident, out 16th August.

Have a watch below.



Brutality Will Prevail detail new album

Welsh hardcore exports Brutality Will Prevail have announced their sixth album. Misery Sequence is released September 13th via BDHW.

Tracklisting and artwork is below. The album’s title track is up on Spotify now.



Backtrack announce another leg of their final shows tour

New York hardcore band Backtrack have detailed the European dates of their final shows tours that take place throughout the rest of the year. The band are to split after the tours.

They take in the West Coast, before heading to Asia, Australia and Europe. Full list of dates below.



Gender Roles release video for new single “Hey With Two Whys”

Brighton, UK indie punks Gender Roles have released a video for their new single ‘Hey With Two Whys’, taken from their upcoming album Prang, which is released on 30th August via Big Scary Monsters.

Have a watch below.



DS Exclusive: Rough Dreams premiere new music video, “The Cold Sweat Shakes”

Ya’ll like music, right? And new music videos? I mean, why else would you come to a music news website, am I right?

Today we’ve got something special for ya’ – straight from the heartland, well the south I suppose, but Rough Dreams is a “Midwest-style” punk band out of Tennessee infused with a personal, and intimate sound which if nothing else, you can be sure is coming straight from the heart. Mason-Dixon be damned! Today they are premiering a music video dedicated to the songs that move us, “The Cold Sweat Shakes”. You can stream “The Cold Sweat Shakes” below.

Rough Dreams is a self-described “indie band with roots in punk rock [who] take their name from Otis Redding’s ‘I’ve got Dreams to Remember'”, and draw heavily on inspiration from bands like Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, and The Swellers. Their self-titled debut EP was released earlier this year via Coffin Curse Records, and recorded jointly “in Knoxville by Zach Householder (Whitechapel) and Miah Lajeunesse (The Sound Lair) as well as in Saginaw, MI with Nick Diener (The Swellers) at Oneder Studios.” It was mixed and mastered by Nick Diener and is available for streaming and name your price purchase on Rough Dreams’ bandcamp.

Enjoy the premiere!



Big Nothing (Philadelphia Punk Rock) and Dangers Of Love announce UK tour

Philadelphia’s Big Nothing have announced their first UK tour in support of their new album “Chris”The band was recently featured in Rolling Stone’s Songs You Need To Know.

In support will be the awesome Dangers Of Love from London, UK, who recently released their self-titled, debut EP.

Check out the dates below with music from both bands.



From Parts Unknown (ffo: The Lawrence Arms, Tiger Army) release new EP, “S8N”

Dallas punk rock and roll band, From Parts Unknown has just released a new EP with Stars At Night Records and Stupid Rad Merch Co. It is available for streaming on their Spotify channel, with vinyl variant pre-order bundles available here. Check them out on the road now!



Obey The Brave release video for “Seeing Red”

Obey The Brave have released an all-new video. “Seeing Red” is the first single off the Canadian band’s new album, Balance, released on July 19th.  You can watch the metalcore band’s latest offering below.



The Sidekicks stream new song, “Ode To Jerry”

Ohio’s The Sidekicks are currently streaming their new song, “Ode to Jerry.” According to bassist Ryan Starinsky, “During the recording of ‘Happiness Hours’, Jerry came to me in a dream. There, he gifted me this song to commemorate some rockers who have come before, altogether making me rethink the uncertain realm of death”. You can listen to “Ode To Jerry” now via Spotify.

 



Stream three new songs from The Decline’s new album, “Flash Gordon Ramsay Street”

Australia’s The Decline are currently streaming three new songs off their upcoming album, Flash Gordon Ramsay Street. The album will be released August 30th on Disconnect Disconnect Records, and you can check out the songs below.



Stream a new single from Fights and Fires new EP, “Kebaptism”

Available as a name your own price download, the United Kingdom’s Fights and Fires have released the second song from Kebaptism, “Row Away.” The song follows the release of, “I Want Napalm Death Played At My Funeral.”  You can hear both songs below.



Bad Religion expand fall tour

While the band is already touring in support of their new album, Age of Unreason, Bad Religion have added some additional tour dates to the US leg of the tour. The newly added dates will begin September 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and wrap October 6 in San Diego, CA. Tickets are on sale as of August 19th at https://badreligion.com/tour.

The new tour dates can be found below.