It’s been a while since I’ve written a review. I’d kind of fallen out of love with discovering new music, and my brain just wasn’t willing to produce useful sentences about it when I’d tried listening to any. I found my mind vacant, grey, and felt I had a veil over my eyes and cotton in my ears – I could physically see and hear just fine, but I couldn’t connect any emotion to what I was experiencing.
So I’ve taken myself on a holiday – I left my various troubles at home, took a stack of CDs and books, and drove away. This is night one. I can’t remember the last time I was alone like this, but you know what? I already feel more real, and I felt inspired, for the first time in months, to write a review. On my drive here I listened to The Mars Volta’s excellent album Frances the Mute for the first time, and I found it so enthralling that my ears were demanding more new music as soon as I got to my accommodation.
Now, I realise that’s a long intro, but I swear it’s relevant. Here’s where Moray Pringle’s new EP Four Day Weekend comes in. Firstly, it seems appropriate to review it purely for the title, which reflects my current situation; secondly, it is such a vivid album that I feel it almost single-handedly shocked my brain back into enjoying music through its sheer positive energy. Frances the Mute reignited my curiosity for discovering things I hadn’t heard before, and Moray Pringle turned that spark back into a roaring fire.
Normally, I’m not one for happy music. I review mainly metal, because I love its dreariness, its aggression, the angst, the pain. Luckily, Four Day Weekend was tagged – somewhat misleadingly – as instrumental progressive metal. Had that not been its genre description, I likely would’ve missed it. Basically, it’s 13 minutes of carefree guitar noodling over groovy, spicy riffs. Sometimes, like on the closing track “80/20”, it hits hard and inches towards metal, but for the most part, to me it’s some funky-ass rock; though, as with any good music, genre descriptions become redundant very quickly once you let yourself enjoy it for what it is.
Funk baritone master Mark Lettieri recently released his first full-length album, which my partner has been raving about, but I just couldn’t share his enthusiasm. With grey foam filling my head, it didn’t manage to do anything for me. Moray Pringle combines the ridiculously high energy of Lettieri’s funk grooves with the melodic sensibilities and slippery playing style of Plini, and amalgamates them into a rainbow-flavoured ice cream-vodka-psychedelic-popping candy sundae of an EP, an EpiPen of dopamine for worn-out minds like mine. Somehow, Moray Pringle got through to me.
The only times I stopped smiling while listening to Four Day Weekend were to pull stank faces, and I couldn’t keep my head from bopping. The musicianship is also absolutely outstanding, both the playing itself on all instruments as well as the songwriting itself. Tasty harmony, juicy, catchy melodies, boisterous rhythms, the occasional self-indulgent but very appropriate shred solo (including a guest appearance from MONUMENTS‘s Olly Steele) – what more could you want? It’s a flawless, gutsy wee EP that you absolutely shouldn’t miss.
I don’t want to dissect Four Day Weekend – this is a short review for a short EP. Opening track “Four Day Weekend” is orange sherbet laced with LSD, its successor “Rum Punch” is an ice block running down your chin on a sunny day, the skanky polka interlude “Scotty Scotty” sounds to me like a jar of pickles grew wings, and EP closer “80/20” is aviators, motorbikes, denim jackets, and adrenaline. The whole EP is a raucous celebration of joy, unbridled, unapologetic. You know what it made me feel? Just motherfuckin’ happy. Who needs drugs when we have Moray Pringle?