Prisoner / Witchcake split EP

This one’s a toughie. There’s not much here to condemn fully or praise highly—some well-enough crafted songs from two bands that sound competent and well-read. PRISONER is from Texas, but weirdly not from Denton, which is shocking given their first track sounds dead-on for a MARKED MEN tribute band, and the overbaked acoustic-driven second track sounds like BAPTIST GENERALS. “Ten Years Done,” which opens the record, is fantastic. Hard-driven and tuneful if not altogether original. WITCHCAKE, hailing from Mississippi, takes on a more garage-leaning psych sound replete with splashy wet guitars and underwater vocals. Oh, and a pretty groovy organ. They sound fine. All of these songs, save for the excellent opener, sound fine. It’s all fine. Carry on, garage dudes.

Prisoner Choose Your Delusion cassette

Imagine if you dealt with quarantine by locking yourself in a basement with a Casio keyboard, your guitar, a makeshift drum kit, and a Tascam four-track recorder, and the only thing you had to consume was a bag of Flamin’ Hot Funyuns and a case of Sparks. (But it was the old version of Sparks that had a higher alcohol content AND caffeine, taurine, and all that other chemical crap that the government made them take out.) Then you passed your days by composing a theatrical one-man band concept album that played out like the Rocky Horror Picture Show with JAY REATARD in fishnets playing the role of Frank-N-Furter to the audience in the mirror. That’s pretty much what Brandon Hamilton (PRINCE, DUDE JAMS) did in Austin, TX last year. Amazingly spastic, melodically demented, and pleasantly bizarre in a way that’s reminiscent of the early PHARMACY.