Album: Prismatic Shapes - Deadbeat


Category: Post Punk


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Reviewed by: Harris Escalante

Prismatic Shapes is a post-punk outfit headed by Pedro Gopar of Mexico City. The band started in 2017 and has continued to release tracks owing to the dreamy and melancholic tones of the 80’s and 90’s bands like Lowlife and Cocteau Twins. Their latest LP Deadbeat is a collection of highly evocative and dreamy tunes with great use of synthesizers and guitar shoegaze. 

Gopar’s songwriting relies heavily on the same synths used by their influences, equipment such as the Roland MC-303 drum machine and a Yamaha SY22 Vector Synthesizer being part of the band’s ensemble. These ‘vintage’ instruments provide the gritty and raw sound that isn’t quite as present from their contemporaries. As such, there is a strong nostalgic atmosphere to their songs. The kind of lo-fi cassette tape sound that you can’t quite get from a plug-in. This together with glistening synth lines and guitar effects make up the band’s soundscape. The result is lush and sentimental; a sound of longing long-lost memories and the good old days — whatever your version may be.

“Days of Decay” opens the album with an oozing flow of thick synths and thicker reverb, lovely melodies that drench the walls with eerie and haunting emotions. “Fateful Wish” follows with a more urgent and restless tempo, perfect for a song that describes an unending desire to be with someone. Both songs exhibit a darker and more gothic undertone which is quite similar to darkwave. The centerpiece “Pantomime” is one of the highlights of the LP. Released as a single in 2019, this track perfectly encompasses the band’s ability to layer in multiple guitar and synth lines to form a tapestry that’s highly intricate yet blends seamlessly into one. 

At the tail-end of the LP comes the title track. “Deadbeat” is one of the most atmospheric tracks in here and showcases the band’s versatility. With aqueous synth lines that are both danceable and catchy, haunting vocal melodies and a groovy bass line at the low end it’s hard to resist not moving along to this song and pinching for a replay. The closer “After The Rain” follows with a seamless transition and serves to top-off the whole collection with a moody rain effect and clashing synths that spill into bright neon colors. 

For fans of post-punk and new wave, there’s a newcomer in the scene that’s shaping up to become bigger and brighter. Prismatic Shapes is the real deal, and you should check them out.

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