By Mandi Kimes
Prinzhorn Dance School released Home Economics through DFA Records earlier this week, and I have finally been able to write down my thoughts on the album. Home Economics is recommended for fans of The Smiths or The XX.
"Reign" begins with a bass-driven and lacking percussive beat that then leads into an electric guitar weaving through the same few notes. The drums are nothing exciting as its just a snare and kick pattern on each eighth note, until you get to the end of each 4-bar phrase and the beat changes to add a floor tom and a clangy (cowbell?) instrument to mix up the lackluster beat. Whereas "Battlefield" explores the guitar soaring through the bridge and add an intensity that the previous song was missing.
Quite possible the most reminiscent of mellow 90s grunge track on the record, "Clean" offers a vulnerable side to the band we have yet to see; think stripped-down The Cranberries. "Clean" moves into "Haggle", which offers more variety in the drums and adds a "bend-and-break" sound to the offbeat nature of the song, almost liking an impatient knocking at the door with inconsistent breaks.
"Education" is the first we really hear Suzi Horn extend her vocal dynamic from her subtle echoing of Tobin Prinz's lyrics. "Teach me to feel // To feel real" is the plea of the chorus, and it really does feel like the instrumentation is robotic; similarly to the Pink Floyd's own education "Another Brick in the Wall". The final track of the album "Let Me Go" is the first we hear of a Spanish-sounding acoustic guitar. Prinz's vocals possess a mixture of Morrissey and Ian Curtis. The atmospheric blend near the end of the song is so intriguing, that I wish there were more.
Home Economics was recorded on the move between different flats in Brighton and Hove, then wheeled around town on a hard-drive wrapped in a sleeping bag in a suitcase. I'd be more interested to hear what kind of sound they can produce if they had a studio with their own engineer and producer. Don't get me wrong, some DIY records come out extremely polished, and you wonder how something that immaculate was recorded in someone's apartment. However, this record is not the case.