There are only two words that come to mind when describing Prizzy Prizzy Please: INTENSE and INSANE
It’s so intense in fact, that I have often declared experiencing this band as its own verb. When you go to a show you get Prizzy Prizzy Please(d), and it is absolutely amazing.
Prizzy Prizzy Please is a band from Bloomington, Indiana made up of Mark Pallman (vocals/sax), Bob Allen (bass, vocals), Ted Wells (keyboards), and Scott McNiece (drums). For a rock band that creates such an intense sound and energy, it’s fascinating to note that they have a rather atypical instrument set up. However, they use this to their advantage to create a unique sound that fuses styles like rock, punk, and even funk.
Their talent as musicians of course is also credited with their ability to deliver such a unique style. With Wells creating terror on his distorted keyboard it is clear that a guitar is not necessary. The keyboard provides the melodic and chordal structure of the song, and its flashy, scratchy tones add texture to the patterns. Allen rocks the bass with the thick, bold sound and style that helps influence the powerful drumming and provides some vocal support. McNiece on the drums is an insane fury of intensity AND insanity. You really just have to see it to believe it:
You can really see how much each part focuses on influencing pulse. The audience can’t help but bounce their heads along with the beat because it is so heavy in their music. Even Pallman’s vocal style focuses on a spitfire technique of shooting out and enunciating the words. The words seem to just come out at you as well as the accompanying music. This creates that hard-hitting intensity that describes the band’s sound. On the slower-paced songs, there is still a driving sense of pulse, but the vocal style changes to longer delivery of the lyrics, that are shouted out with just as much intensity as the faster tunes.
“Thunderstruck” (AC/DC cover)
The band does a great way in finding engineers who can capture their recorded sound with just as much intensity as the live performance. Their latest LP release, the self-titled Prizzy Prizzy Please, was filled with concise, short, fun tunes like “Flea Bomb”, “Crackhead Drillbits”, and “Campfire Girls Weekend Party”. By the titles, one can tell exactly what the theme of the song is. The stories are simple, but the intensity of the whole package (lyrics and delivery) are what makes the songs epic. The songs are often about real events, like “Too Many T-shirts”, which refers to when a friend was attempting to win a world record for most t-shirts worn, and “Shorgasm”, of which I recommend you go to a show to get the meaning from the band members themselves.
Something else I enjoy about their songs is that they appreciate the concept that less can be more. Songs like “A Thundergust of Woodpeckers” and “Dyno Police” are almost instrumental pieces as the vocals don’t come in until nearly a minute or more into the song. When they do come, the lyrics are so short and simple, but the impact of how much the music has built up to that moment makes the eight “We’re gonna get to the bottom of this” chants in “Thundergust” so much more intense and worth the wait. (Also the prior instrumental section allows for time to mosh and enjoy a sax solo.) It’s all about the theme and the frenzy and really becoming engaged in the music. The epic show favorite “Dyno Police” deals with and unrealistic theme that if you’re in trouble and you are a dinosaur, then naturally, you should call the Dyno Police (as opposed to a different animal/being). It only has a chorus which follows a slow but driving +2 minute instrumental section complete with a sax solo and sax/bass duet.
That being said, along with the music, the talent, and the songwriting is recognizing that what really ties this band together, and makes them so appealing, is the element of fun. These guys always look like they are having the time of their life when they are on stage. They write fun, catchy, songs, that just come speeding at you like water balloons. They have sax solos and cover everything from AC/DC to Fugazi. And they really appreciate their friends and fans who support them. Prizzy Prizzy Please is one of my favorite bands to go out and see when I am just looking for a good time, no gimmicks, no strings attached, just good music and fun. They represented Bloomington music well at the 2008 Forecastle Festival. I am excited to hear the new material they have been working on and remain a loyal fan for as long as they will keep making music.
Here’s Prizzy at The Statehouse playing “Shorgasm”: (You may need to turn your volume up)