Pre "Hope Freaks"
Pre are one of those rare and vital musical outfits that are engineered to fuck with you. Every squeal or beat or ominous, drawn out intonation on this iniquitous disc of irascible invocations is a supreme skullfuckeroo. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
The Noise Rock scene has tried, for a very long time, to totally obliterate any slight grasp you have on your sanity while getting you to buy their albums, and they have mostly failed at this. Because they lacked the bedrock attraction that Pre so obviously possesses—the ability to knock your socks off, shock your nerves, fling your hypothalamus into a cerebral wreckage and make you grind your teeth into pixiedust...while still producing a mellifluous enough melange of netherworldly aural combinations to put you at ease or, at least, a comfortable or satisfying disease.
The tracks on Hope Freaks are so feverishly, intensely immediate that you get the distinct impression you're host to some epic schizophrenic opera. When, really, you're on Track 5. But it sure as hell feels like you never left Track 1. Which is probably a good thing. Anybody who remembers the Ramones, with any degree of affinity, knows that they pioneered a rapid-fire approach to song structure that clocked in at under three minutes and, in most cases, usually far less. That same waste-no-time snatch-it-fast style is present here and works just as effectively.
Some unfortunate P.A.B. In a K-Hole is, most likely, stuck in a maelstrom of lunacy right now while listening to "Not Necessary" and when he recovers, he will curse my name for suggesting this, but my advise is he repeat this scenario three-fold, and then he'll see that I am right. These jagged nightmare meltdowns are too short to wear out their raggedy welcome.
Back to the grand fuckeroo. The female (?) vox on this collection is completely misleading. Every time she seems to be getting sensual or ethereal she or it, more appropriately, drops a vocal seizure on you that makes your psycho ex-girlfriend's shenanigans seem like the sound ruminations of a sober mind. All the way down to the CD jacket, whose liner notes open up to reveal nothing more than a series of droplets (of tears or water or semen or sweat or all four), Hope Freaks smacks of oddly pleasurable psychological warfare.
This is the album a detention center officer could blast through the PA of a confined torture chamber for fifty straight hours and, after the first four, you would lapse into a refined form of hysteria that might not be unlike the neck jerks and torso spasms present in a proper mosh pit. The sound of your manic laughter co-mingling with these tracks might just be the most complimentary thing since John Waters' distributor introduced vomit bags.
Pre fuck your dome up and it's a release for the Recession-era Id that deserves every scrib you got.