The Prids released their first album Love Zero in 2003 after several years of performing as a band. The album clocks at a moderate runtime of 30 mins, but it’s still packed to the brim with 80’s goth rock and noise pop that hearkens to the greats like The Cure and Joy Division. Not to understate their own craft and songwriting, but during the 2000’s there was a much needed demand for songs that are nostalgic for these much loved acts. The Prids deliver this to a T, creating something that their influences can be proud of while writing their own story and cementing their own sound.
“The Problem” starts off the album with a dark and urgent break-up song. The gritty guitars and the stylistic use of synths create a contrast between soft and harsh tones. A staple of goth that they’ve executed masterfully. Not far ahead is my favorite “Panic Like Moths”, an instrumental that makes use of dissonant parallel riffs that give off a claustrophobic effect. This track gave me a feeling of being stuck in a roller coaster that’s about to fall off a cliff, one of the more brilliant uses of panning tricks that I’ve heard in a while.
The band’s expertise in crafting these intricate sounds shows best in centerpiece “Llolar”. It’s a song where each element feels balanced and well orchestrated. From the rich guitar riffs, the lush synths to the emotional drive of the melodies, nothing feels wasted or overstepping the line. This is one of the best tracks in the album and it shows where The Prids are most effective. The title track is another good one, which focuses on mourning the end of a relationship. Each riff and element is used sparingly, creating an effect of emptiness and grieving. It’s a song where I can’t help but sigh whenever I hear it.
Yet the band is not without surprises. “Artifical Heart Designer” is one that feels out of place in this album, with its acoustic guitar and laid back folk vibes. But nevertheless I feel like there’s a lot of love poured in this track. It tones down the energy of the album and provides a welcome place of calm and respite.
Love Zero is widely different from the experimental vibes of The Prids’ first EP. This one feels more vulnerable and close to the heart than its predecessor’s experimental flourishes. If you’re a fan of the gloomy side of rock and all its facets, this is an album that’s well worth rediscovering.