Gender Roles – Prang

In 2018, the month of September, day 28th  approximately 6pm, upstairs at the Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney, Mare street, I witnessed a three piece band from Brighton called Gender Roles, these musicians consist of drummer Jordan Lilford, guitarist/vocalist Tom Bennett and bassist Jared Tomkins who all met/formed in 2015 at Jordan’s Brighton Pride party. In this thirty-minute set, they aided my tinnitus and enabled the love of music.
A year later these punk/garage rockers release their debut record PRANG, it’s here in my grasps and is ready for release on August 30th via Big Scary Monsters. Recorded with producer Ian Sadler at Emeline Studios in Kent over ten days.

A huge dollop of grunge, punk and garage rock etc is offered on a plate here with opener “You look Like Death” is straightforward rock with punchy lyrics and honestly caught me off guard due to my previous encounter of hearing these guys live. I was instantly expecting a raw garage rock fest, but these guys just taught me patience and tolerance as we get that with “Always” and “Deep End” Musically these guys are ferocious of speed. Deep End has the catchiness of lyrics reminds me of “Something for the Weekend” by Hard Fi, only as they mention the weekend. Three tunes in and the riffs, bass and Bennett’s vocals are building for an explosion.

“Hey With Two Whys” is a story of different licks, distortion, gentle sweeping guitars and a turn that caught me by surprise, to be honest it felt like a tender rock tune, but then, they do a heel turn befitting a WWE wrestler around three quarters in “We say H E YY to fit in” is a simple lyric that’ll have the crowd chanting back. “Ickle” slows the pace in a melancholic drum beat.

The guitar intro sounds of “Tip of My Tongue” feels like a nod to Blur, Gender Roles have a lot in their arsenal vibrant dirty punk riffs, catchy and scream vocals and is a favourite of mine. The songs grow and as “That’s How You Want It To Be” has beautiful frantic screaming of Tom Bennett, crashing guitar riffs, full paced bass with thunderous drumming and I love it, love it.

Final tune, “Bubble” opens with a repetitive riff, very bubbly and then GR begin to smash the crap out of those instruments and aiding the blood pressure to a level it shouldn’t be.

OK, take a breath. Prang has so much happening in ten tunes,  rock influences of Nirvana and Brit pop acknowledgement such as Blue. Gender Roles are three guys who have ability to steal the stage. Their heavy unadulterated musical play gives no reason why these guys are not on the tip of everyone in the music world’s tongue.

Mark Wincott

September 30, 2019

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