Prime Junk hone in on very human emotions on their latest release.
I’ve been trying to work out exactly what it is about Ladybird from Montreal-based, Peterborough-bred Prime Junk that I want to impart in a blog post. The band writes catchy, sometimes caustic garage pop, packaged in sound-bite sized servings (only one of its four tracks breaks the three-minute mark). That seems relevant to share, but doesn’t really impart what’s actually going on under Ladybird’s surface.
What’s hovering in the air around Prime Junk’s buzzing guitar noise is a Rorschach-like splatter of thoughts and ideas, fears and fascinations. Dreams come up quite a bit; from the shouty chorus of “Settle Down” (“If I could sleep / I think I’d sleep all day”), to the opening track’s title (“dreams”), you’d get the impression that Prime Junk are primed to completely escape from reality. They’re not. It’s not an unattainable ideal they’re looking for, just some place, or something different. It comes up again on “X-Files” when vocalist and guitarist Nat sings “It’s a lost cause searching for a feeling you felt / Can’t explain what you know underneath / We are not who we are we’re the secrets we keep / I’m losing time / I’m losing sleep / I’m losing me / but I will find you”.
I know I’m not doing Prime Junk justice with my mumbled, unclear thoughts. That’s also part of the Ladybird listening experience. There’s a sense that Prime Junk are either holding something back (for themselves, possibly) or are afraid of letting it all out for the world to see. They’re moving towards a new state of being, a kind of caterpillar-to-butterfly-like transformation. The meanings of these songs are dressed up in melodic, breezy, DIY pop. These short bursts sound like Prime Junk are care-free and concerned only with having a good time. Once you let the songs in, allow them to get under your skin and into your head, Prime Junk hone in on very human emotions and stimulate a new set of nerve-endings. What, at first flush, seems like just another inkblot shaped like a garage pop band, morphs into something sharper, more nuanced, and absorbing.