Kris from The Prefab Messiahs contacted me the other day about a single from his band just released on Almost Ready Records. ARR has released an amazing series of 'The World's Lousy with Ideas' compilation volumes that featured everyone from Nothing People, Nobunny, Pink Noise and Eat Skull long before they even showed up on anyone's radar including the Perpetual Night single from Home Blitz that had me tracking down that album when they played live at Don Pedro's.
Turns out The Prefab Messiahs existed only two short years in Worcester, MA putting out a full length, 'Devolver' before spitting up and taking things bigger places, due to those usual circumstances that happen outside of music. Damn everything else!
I found various member listings and Gary War is even listed as having been a member, and has something from the Messiahs in the works on his own label, Fixed Identity.
The A-Side, 'Franz Kafka', is of course about the novel, The Metamorphosis and literally they take on the protagonist's dilemma lyrically, with a real post nervous edge. Vocally the discovery of turning into a giant beetle is introduced by Doc with a manic screamy energy. This track is immediately closer to punk, getting almost bubblegum catchy in a bridge, and a gritty solo leads to Xerox's verse delivered in what sounds like his trademark tongue in cheek monotone...reminding me of Mark Mothersbaugh's style vocal. The garage rock races ahead, the source tapes fading in and out along with the changes in distortion. It sounds like it's recorded completely live, howls and all. The track ends with a party scene....that has to be better than that downer of a book.
'Prefab Sun' from the B-Side: The ringing treble they get off one of the guitar tracks is completely insane and probably impossible to duplicate, definitely one of those amazing moments you take advantage of. Jangly and just plain fun, I'm not associating this today as having so much to do with '60s psyche as it does straight ahead raw garage rock with the enthusiasm that comes from a dedication to doing something completely honest, that's what allows them to pull off these lighthearted tracks with an effortlessness that everything can sound like this if you want it to. Sort of like Wounded Lion, or Nodzzz, there's nothing better than a band setting it's sights on doing something for themselves when other people happen to like it. They almost convince you in sheer likeability, it's concise and completely worthy of reconsideration and reissue by Almost Ready. Could you imagine a subscription series? I can.
I have no idea of the historic context to place this alongside what else was possibly happening in the world at this point, let along this area of MA, but in the current climate of punchy garage rock, this is one of those bands, you could say ahead of their time, or that artists have come back around to appreciate the same things the Prefab Messiahs inherently knew.
Preview these tracks at their bandcamp page and then get it from the Prefab's directly or contact Almost Ready for a copy.
Features: art & layout from Prefabs singer Xeth "Xerox" Feinberg and band photos by Bobb Trimble (the bands friend, guru, and sometime producer)