Prism Tats - "Creep Out // Freak Out" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Cara Robbins

"Creep Out // Freak Out" is a freak-punk maelstrom whipped along by an unrelenting sexual pressure.

Pryor Stroud: Lifted from Prism Tats' eponymous LP, "Creep Out // Freak Out" is a freak-punk maelstrom whipped along by an unrelenting sexual pressure. Singer Garett van der Spek seems to be both animated and afflicted by desire, a paradox that enlivens his voice with a tortured yet masochistically amped-up poeticism. This paradox is also present in the guitar, which wields a pure thrash-this-out-of-my-system punk ethic that only intensifies as the song surges toward its end. "I'm gonna creep you out / I'm going freak you out", van der Spek repeats, so certain of his own perversity that he feels like he should just own up and admit it. But what is there to admit? The guitar is there to tell you: something violent, sickening to some, a brutality of skin that's best left said in the flesh. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: There's a refreshing old-school punk/new wave element to this song that includes a lot of glam influences, resulting in a retro sound that seems to revere its past while blazing a new trail. A nice buzzing bass line drives the point home, and the galloping beat will hopefully have fans pogo-ing around the club when Prism Tats open for Nada Surf later this month. [7/10]

Timothy Gabriele: Had to check at first to see if this wasn’t Of Montreal, but precisely where Kevin Shields would have gotten interesting, his soundalike decides to frame this like every above-the-sheets overproduced garage yawn this side of an Apple commercial. Okay, so it’s not a total yawn. Despite its structural and sonic conservatism, there’s some shredding happening that is pretty nice and a catchy refrain that lingers in memory a bit after the tune concludes, but the title is a bit of a ruse. This track does not “freak out” as its lyrics and video promises. It merely rocks a little bit. [5/10]

Emmanuel Elone: Prism Tats combines both punk rock and indie music on "Creep Out//Freak Out". The guitar riff is driving and infectious, while the melody of the instrumentation mirrors that of the vocals. The lead singer has a sweet soprano quality to his voice as well, contrasting nicely with the pulsing percussion and guitar tones. So, while it's not the a stand-out song, "Creep Out//Freak Out" is at least a short and sweet listen that never disappoints. [7/10]

Chad Miller: While the track isn't unenjoyable, it's nothing special at the same time. The melody line that was in all falsetto was nice, and the guitar was pretty good too, especially during the ending. However, most of the track is pretty average melodically and lyrically. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.60





David Lord Salutes Collaborators With "Cloud Ear" (premiere)

David Lord teams with Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground) for a new collection of sweeping, frequently meditative compositions. The results are jazz for a still-distant future that's still rooted in tradition.


Laraaji Takes a "Quiet Journey" (premiere +interview)

Afro Transcendentalist Laraaji prepares his second album of 2020, the meditative Moon Piano, recorded inside a Brooklyn church. The record is an example of what the artist refers to as "pulling music from the sky".


Blues' Johnny Ray Daniels Sings About "Somewhere to Lay My Head" (premiere)

Johnny Ray Daniels' "Somewhere to Lay My Head" is from new compilation that's a companion to a book detailing the work of artist/musician/folklorist Freeman Vines. Vines chronicles racism and injustice via his work.


The Band of Heathens Find That Life Keeps Getting 'Stranger'

The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.


Landowner's 'Consultant' Is OCD-Post-Punk With Obsessive Precision

Landowner's Consultant has all the energy of a punk-rock record but none of the distorted power chords.


NYFF: 'American Utopia' Sets a Glorious Tone for Our Difficult Times

Spike Lee's crisp concert film of David Byrne's Broadway show, American Utopia, embraces the hopes and anxieties of the present moment.


South Africa's Phelimuncasi Thrill with Their Gqom Beats on '2013-2019'

A new Phelimuncasi anthology from Nyege Nyege Tapes introduces listeners to gqom and the dancefloors of Durban, South Africa.


Wolf Parade's 'Apologies to the Queen Mary' Turns 15

Wolf Parade's debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, is an indie rock classic. It's a testament to how creative, vital, and exciting the indie rock scene felt in the 2000s.


Literary Scholar Andrew H. Miller On Solitude As a Common Bond

Andrew H. Miller's On Not Being Someone Else considers how contemplating other possibilities for one's life is a way of creating meaning in the life one leads.


Fransancisco's "This Woman's Work" Cover Is Inspired By Heartache (premiere)

Indie-folk brothers Fransancisco dedicate their take on Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" to all mothers who have lost a child.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Rodd Rathjen Discusses 'Buoyancy', His Film About Modern Slavery

Rodd Rathjen's directorial feature debut, Buoyancy, seeks to give a voice to the voiceless men and boys who are victims of slavery in Southeast Asia.


Hear the New, Classic Pop of the Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" (premiere)

The Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" is a pop tune, but pop as heard through ears more attuned to AM radio's glory days rather than streaming playlists and studio trickery.


Blitzen Trapper on the Afterlife, Schizophrenia, Civil Unrest and Our Place in the Cosmos

Influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Blitzen Trapper's new album Holy Smokes, Future Jokes plumbs the comedic horror of the human condition.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Fire in the Time of Coronavirus

If we venture out our front door we might inhale both a deadly virus and pinpoint flakes of ash. If we turn back in fear we may no longer have a door behind us.


Sufjan Stevens' 'The Ascension' Is Mostly Captivating

Even though Sufjan Stevens' The Ascension is sometimes too formulaic or trivial to linger, it's still a very good, enjoyable effort.

Jordan Blum

Chris Smither's "What I Do" Is an Honest Response to Old Questions (premiere + interview)

How does Chris Smither play guitar that way? What impact does New Orleans have on his music? He might not be able to answer those questions directly but he can sure write a song about it.


Sally Anne Morgan Invites Us Into a Metaphorical Safe Space on 'Thread'

With Thread, Sally Anne Morgan shows that traditional folk music is not to be smothered in revivalist praise. It's simply there as a seed with which to plant new gardens.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.