Prince Rupert’s Drops Move The Punkadelica Center O’ Gravity East

Since the demise of the late and much lamented First Communion Afterparty, Tulip Frenzy has kept up a lonely vigil trying to locate the next great American punk band whose ambition drives them not to Nirvana-esque pop-smithery, but to the halcyon days of hallucinations and Fillmore Ballroom acid testing.  We long ago posited that the Magic Castles were candidates for America’s best young band, and meant it, but with the discovery of Prince Rupert’s Drops — whose debut album Run Slow was released last November — it is possible FCAP’s successors have, like the young Dalai Lama correctly pointing to the glasses of the lama from whom he was reincarnated, identified themselves.

Some weeks back we went just that slight bit nutso over Parquet Courts, the Texas transplants who moved to — natch — Brooklyn, and since then they’ve caused quite a ruckus.  But November 2012 will be notable not just for the release of their sweaty-club extravaganza, for it also brought us Run Slow.  Prince Rupert’s Drops may be a little closer to delicate British bands like The Koolaid Electric Company than psyche-powerhouses like Assemble Head In Starburst Sound, and we will admit that what set alarm bells clanging and forced us to reach for our iTunes was the Uncut tweet comparing them to a mix of The Jefferson Airplane and Fairport Convention, which gets it about right.  So yes, the Airplane with Sandy Denny, not Grace Slick could be one shorthand descriptor that gets it right.  But it doesn’t quite nail how authentically, thrillingly weird they can be, how the female lead vocalist sounds like she could call in the hogs at the New York State Fair, how they can back up all that guitar energy with piano adding that just, well, Prince Rupert’s droplet of color.

And so naturally they come from Brooklyn, an imaginary place where all the cheese is stinkier, all the chocolate dark, and all the bands exist, through magic, in the full flower of ’60s perfection.  Lord knows we miss our First Communion Afterparty, but if we can’t have them, hallelujah for Prince Rupert’s Drops.

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