Prince Daddy & The Hyena Perfect Their Brand of Unabashedly Abrasive, Youth-infused Punk on ‘I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving’
There’s a certain comfort that comes with sound-tracking Summer with some of the most abrasive and shouty punk rock — and few bands seem to get that better than Prince Daddy & The Hyena. The vocals are raucous and vigilant, bringing bands like PUP and Choke Up to mind, and even though the age gap between members of PUP and Prince Daddy is arguably non-existent (both bands feature members that are in their early-to-mid twenties), the lyrics on I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving have a more youthful resonance to them. This stems from something as simple as their brand of pop culture reference; a stream of the album’s title track was recently released and comes to a roaring open with a line that sums the band up perfectly: “whenever i fall asleep i keep on waking up to the same goddamn dreams / it’s just me drowning with my arm, from the elbow up, reaching out for anything / like in ninja turtles 2: secret of the ooze.”
The Prince Daddy formula is simple: 80% angst/anxiety and 20% decades late pop-culture references. If it didn’t work, I would question it. Songs like “I Forgot to Take My Meds Today” perfectly encapsulate that angst and anxiety. Trudging into the wailing delivery of “I forgot to take my meds today / I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday.” As a whole, the song is sing-along ready, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t become an instant staple in their live show. The lyrics are catchy and repeat — calling back to the imagery given to us in the title track, only this time the ooze has been replaced by quicksand. The guitars screech and the vocals push to the point of shred, but this song just feels so goddamn good to shout along to.
Without slowing or fear of being seen as too raucous and noisy, Prince Daddy & The Hyena have seemingly stuck gold. The first few seconds of “Clever Girl” have arguably the best and most snarky lyric on the whole record, “I wish I was as tough as you dude / I would be so cool.” It’s a fast ride into “Bromeo // Always Good”, which, in the best way, is a little all over the place. There are moments that absolutely shred that give to moments of synth-heavy pop-rock, and those signature shouty vocals seem a little less strained throughout the peak of the song. It makes sense though, as a gap between “Clever Girl” and the aptly titled “Pop Song.”
Lazy observations aside, “Pop Song” is easily the poppiest song on the record. The hooks are out of this world and the energy is so perfect — the shredding guitars and vocals will bring a smile to your face and leave you hoping the song is released as a single. While the two sound nothing alike, I get the same energy from “Pop Song” as I do from “Everything Is Alright.” There’s the perfect amount of anxiety behind the vocals, hooks that are going to be stuck in your head for days, and music that accompanies that perfectly. It may sound silly, but I give it one listen before you catch yourself walking around singing “you caught me at a real bad time.”
I can’t imagine a world wherein people don’t fall in love with Prince Daddy & The Hyena after listening to I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving. When you think of albums that feel like they were made for the Summer of 2016, this will be the record that comes to mind. It’s an unabashedly abrasive dose of youth-infused punk with a penchant for relics of pop-culture’s past. Prince Daddy is snarky and this record shreds. I wish y’all the best of luck in wanting to listen to anything else as the final weeks of summer come to their daunting end, because I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving is fucking perfect.
I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving is out August 19th via Broken World Media. Pick up your copy here.