In Rotation: Pessimist Prime - Grow Up!

Phil Collins - May 3, 2016

Grow Up!

The first demo from the Joliet group Pessimist Prime mixes nineties Smoking Popes-esque vocal delivery with intermittent ska riffs. I would not call this a straight up ska release, despite the song title "Skanye West," but there are ska sections. They tend to ride in under the framework of a darker, more pessimistic, if you will, base of fuzz and lyrics. "Delta" is defined by such a change. Midway through, it morphs into a ska song (this exact point is cheekily pointed out in the lyrics on bandcamp). "Delta" is the longest and most interesting song on Grow Up!, simply because of all the changes that happen through the song's 3 minutes and 45 seconds. If you are not paying close attention, you could easily mistake this for two separate songs on the first listen. "Skanye West" is a quick, catchy, upbeat tune. There are plenty of woah oh oh's here.

The opening lines to the closing track "Social Ardvark" really feel like a callback to nineties pop punk: "Do you wanna see something that we were never supposed to see?/All the terrible things that we do to our own bodies/Just to get by." The lines get partially repeated at the end of the song, over more lush instrumentation.

I saw Pessimist Prime a while back at Gnarnia. Pat the Bunny and Ghost Mice were in town. It was Magnus Honey's first show. Pessimist Prime opened. I got there early and the whole yard was jam packed full of people. There was a full garage for all four bands. Pessimist Prime was a lot of fun. Their name certainly stuck out. With a full house for four fun sets, this stands as one of my favorite Gnarnia shows. Catch Pessimist Prime live at Big Momma's House on May 9 with Dunwich Rats, Sincere Engineer, Eric Funn and more. Find out more about that show here. Stream Grow Up! below.