One of a growing number of bands making hardcore fun again, PRE are a London five-piece (vocals, guitar, bass, drums and bass). They released their debut album Epic Fits, fourteen tracks recorded straight to tape in two days, back in September after becoming the first ever European band to sign to Skin Graft Records.
Fronted by Comanechi’s singing drummer Akiko Matsuura and sporting two bassists (no, that wasn’t a typo back there), one of whom happens to be Kevin Hendrick from Seafood, PRE make an impressive racket.
Akiko’s fevered delivery has brought her comparisons to Melt-Banana’s Yasuko Onuki and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O. Even on record you can only imagine her throwing herself around, breaking no end of health and safety laws as she forces every last ounce of breath quickly and sharply from her lungs.
Behind her the rest of the band are no slackers either. The overbalanced rhythm section (completed by Matt Warburton on bass and Rick Bennett on drums) lay down a solid but relatively unstable base for John Webb’s guitar riffs, which take no wave’s repetitive, atonal sounds to their absolute conclusion on songs like Scenes From A 1963 Los Angeles Love-In and Popping Showers (the latter recently released at a split single with Comanechi’s Death Of You) but joyfully and bouncily ascend and descend on Fudging On Our Folks and the 36 second cover of Half Japanese’s Ride Ride Ride.
Capturing this kind of energy on record is no simple task, but Westminster Brown (who has also worked with The Archie Bronson Outfit, Roland Shanks and The Pyramids) has done a sterling job. Recording the band straight to half-inch tape in a pizza storage unit (apparently) over two days, the necessary punky volume and chaos is pushed to the perfect levels. His mixing then brings everything to life, separating out each instrument so that their clarity makes the attack on your ears more honed but losing none of the live feel.
Like all proper punk albums, Epic Fits is gone in under half an hour. And like all proper albums, Epic Fits stays with you for much, much longer. Comparisons are easy to make, but PRE are a band with enough of their own ingredients not to need them.
Fuk Is Fun live video