Fresh Picks: Malfunc Prism.
The cover photo used is very fitting for a band who can’t decide how to describe themselves or who are further confused by those who try to describe them. Malfunc Prism of Freiburg have been compared to the likes of Pearl Jam, The Distillers, Deftones, Nirvana and Bikini Kill and in many ways, I agree.
The band’s debut EP, Ritalin For The Masses, carries strong Stoner Rock and Grunge overtones over borrowings from the various crucial bands in the Post-Hardcore scenes of the past and present. The band are intelligent in their delivery and their songs are very much telling a story, one that wouldn’t work without the stark and ever-changing instrumentation.
Take the drunk and distorted Stoner-Punk groove of ‘Jim’ as it frantically wails about purity. Musically it’s mid-tempo is ironically relentless in a Punk fashion while sluggish in its Stoner-isms. Nirvana’s Bleach with Brody Dalle’s vocals would be a fitting comparison.
‘Adelphephil’ on the other hand reminds you of the explosive Punk and Post-Hardcore of Petrol Girls and to a lesser extent via its blueprint so to speak, from the seminal Fugazi and Refused. This Punk and Hardcore charged Post-Hardcore tone continues with the sombre opening of ‘A Habit’ which explicitly shows why the band are likened so to Grunge, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
This slow rumble is prevalent solitarily until the 3:00 mark before a brief and sharp tempo change and further Post-Hardcore guitars take over as quickly as they themselves subside in a very classic ode to those progressive Punk years back in the day.
Why am I constantly trying to ascertain the bands style? Why am I dropping so many genre diversifications? To be blunt – the band asked.
Overall Malfunc Prism are a Punk band even before the nitty gritties of how they play their instruments are even considered. The sheer cathartic emotional honesty of the EP as it details addiction, loss and other everyday struggles is causation enough to say this via just what is written, with the style in which it is articulated only strengthening it.
Post-Hardcore would sit very well as a description as the structure of the music itself very much echoes that, with considerable influence from the Punk, Alternative Rock and Grunge that came later. But what of the Stoner-groove the band have? I have no real comment on that other than that it seems very natural.
This isn’t a release for the feint-hearted neither for those exclusively into softer more melodic Punk music for this band are not one to “tone it down”.
Find the band below: