Prince Rama

Top Ten Hits of the End of the World

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Review

On 2011's Trust Now, Prince Rama honed itself down to the duo of Taraka and Nimai Larson with engineer and sometime-guitarist Scott Colburn. The end result was a witchy, neo-gothic, psychedelic dance music full of tripped-out jams and quasi-mystical kookiness that worked its loopy magic from beginning to end. On Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, the Larsons try to tighten it up and make it conceptual: PR claim to cover the "pop hits" of ten imaginary bands that died during the apocalypse via channeling them. (The paper booklet even has the scent of basement mold to add to to the vibe.) The fake band names are amusing: the Guns of Dubai, Rage Peace, Taohaus, Hyparxia, etc. The "songs" on Top Ten Hits aspire to a peyote-induced vision that melds Bananarama, latter-year Siouxsie the Banshees, and Hayzee Fantayzee, with a little Kajagoogoo and late Zodiac Mindwarp thrown in for kicks. Prince Rama already own a sprawling musical language: a Brooklyn-baked, acid-drenched "jam band" style that eschews the predominance of traditional guitar- and drum-based aesthetics in favor of tribal digi-drums, layers of Casio presets, orgiastic roto-toms, analog synths, and enough reverb and digital delay to disorient a monk in deep meditation. The jittery, "So Destroyed," with its multivalent drum loops, organ vamps, and memorable chanted melody is a contender. Likewise their attempt at Bollywood on "Radhamadhava," contains a certain naive charm. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi