“Holy fucking shit” was my first thought after giving Prison Book Club’s second album a good and thorough first listen. The second through tenth or so listens didn’t change that opinion and having pretty much had it on repeat for three days hasn’t faded that initial observation. This self titled release shows that the unholy marriage of The Fox Hunt and The Demon Beat wasn’t a one off that got lucky. Sounding not a whole lot like either band but damn good all the same these boys can kick out some jams! I mean this is the kind of music that makes you want to drive too fast (preferably in a classic car), drink too much and start a bunch of fights. It’s rowdy, it’s unruly, it doesn’t apologize and that’s just the first track. Make no mistake about it, this is the rock ‘n’ roll variety where even the slower balladesque tracks will melt your face right off. But the music isn’t where it stops. The lyrics are mindblowing as well. I think my favorite line from this album is from the opening track “Do As I Say”:
Here’s proof of our commitment to our progress’s fulfillment
So if it’s all a fuckin’ game to you you can lose it on your own
But you better off on our side than fightin’ us alone
And it was a hard choice to be sure as the whole album is full of amazing lyrics. The only disappointing track, and even then not very much, was the re-imagining of “Heart of Lead” off of Required Reading. The version of it on this album just doesn’t quite capture the emotion, at least for me, as the original but it’s still a great sounding track. Toss in “Six Pack” and its laments about having enough money to buy beer but not enough to buy gas to go get the beer along in with the rest of the outstanding tracks on this one and you end up with an album full of “I’ve burned that bridge before!” And you can’t beat that with a stick. The “makes me want to drink way too much” quotient for this album is pretty damn high and since I am lamenting places I can’t be this weekend I fully plan to test this a whiskey night album starting in just a few hours (By the time you read this these tests will probably be complete).
This shit is Essential Listening and right now is the top contender for my album of year slot. It gives me hope that my recent musical funk is a result of the genre not being at its peak at the moment rather than me becoming more cynical and burning out. Hell it’s more than hope this album has got me pretty damn excited. In closing you should get off your ass and buy this one without any further questions.