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Album Review: Run by Prawn

Ridgewood quartet Prawn release their third album Run on 22nd September via Topshelf Records. Refining the sound of 2014’s Kingfisher – which swelled with both brass and string arrangement – by concentrating only on the instruments they’re able to play live. Coupled with a production that is consciously raw and provocative, Run is the sound of Prawn at their intoxicating best, mirroring the restless energy of their live shows and moments of sweeping ambience that balances the whole thing on a knife-edge.

Blending an American emo sound with punk and post-rock influences has shaped Prawn’s sound to date, on Run it’s more of the distinctive sound albeit that little bit more captivating and emotional. They’ve managed to carve out a dark but wildly immediate collection of songs that sits as their most formidable work to-date.

“A lot of what came out was the sheer difficulty of truly relating to one another,” Tony Clark says of the records thematic poise. “I felt like everywhere I looked at relationships in my life, there was some feelings of alienation and isolation. I tried to go further than my personal relationships and analyse how I was relating to ideas or communities I partake in.”

From the opener ‘Hunter’ you get the impression that this is going to be a punchier more heartfelt record. It’s a record that doesn’t let up in its emo-tinged hooks and immediacy whilst connecting with you in a raw and primal way. By the time you’ve heard the delightful ‘Snake Oil Salesman’ and the dramatic ‘North Lynx’ that grows from the gentle to the huge climax you’ve found an album that you’re already in love with. Sometimes you find an album that connects with you in a way that almost brings you to tears such is its impact, Run is that album.

The frustration and isolation of ‘Cricket In The Ward’ creates a wonderful atmosphere through the delicate and intricate guitar tones coupled with the angst of Tony Clark’s vocal. It’s a power and immediate track. With the urgency of ‘Hawk In My Head’ and the expressive emo of ‘Empty Hands’ following the album goes from strength to strength. However, it’s in ‘Short Stem’ that you get blown away. One of the quieter tracks on Run it stands out for its fragile and emotionally wrought tones. Lose yourself in the track and bask in its raw passion.

‘Rooftops’ is driving alt rock at its finest before ‘Leopards Paw’ shines bright as the most ambitious and expansive track to date. Taking its queue from post-rock, the track combines ambience with explorative riffs and crescendos, becoming one of 2017s grandest alt rock /emo tracks. Think Foxing at their finest (and a bit more) and you’ll be on the money. Just take in the guitar work in the final 2 minutes and you could ask for more. Wondrous.

‘Greyhound’ lays on the emo tones again before closer ‘Split Logs’ delivers up another excellent slice of relatable and passionate alt rock. Undoubtedly Prawn’s most focused and powerful album to date, as a standalone album it’s simply superb.

AD Rating 9.75/10

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