Just from a cursory glance at their details, its east to figure out whether Prawn will be a band for you – a band signed to Topshelf playing very subdued emo tempered with indie-rock and math-rock. There’s not exactly been a shortage of those lately, putting the onus on ‘Run’ to make a difference and be the convincing factor as to whether Prawn are worth investing in.
Unfortunately that isn’t the case on the whole, but to their credit, there are moments that do shine out and set them apart from the pack. Primarily, Prawn are well-versed in bringing clearer, simpler melodies to the fore and having their math-rock-leaning impulses a few layers back. And when done well, it’s definitely got potential to go further – ‘North Lynx’ coasts by on some widescreen atmosphere that’s definitely appreciated. While a track like ‘Cricket In The Ward’ injects some pace that a lot of this material is desperately lacking.
Then again, that’s a camp that Prawn fall into themselves, as ‘Run’ really can drag its heels and almost comes to a dead stop. ‘Greyhound’ and ‘Rooftops’ feel like rehashes of what’s come before, with the same lack of vibrancy or colour. Not only does ‘Leopard’s Paw’ become a chore after six minutes, but dipping in and out of dour, heavy tones and drab atmosphere can really feel messy. The band seem content with drifting by with the limited range they have, particularly with Tony Clark’s less-than-inspiring vocal performance that makes the whole thing drag even more.
It’s a shame too because there are seeds of an idea that could work here. But whenever they’re embraced, it feels half-hearted and as though there’s so much more that could have come from the sound. At the minute, Prawn aren’t exactly comfortable in the intersection between more niche emo and alt-rock, but there’s definitely a place for them. On ‘Run’ they just haven’t quite found it yet.
‘Run’ by Prawn is released on 22nd September on Topshelf Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)