Album Review: “Corner Piece” by Pryce & Perone
Pryce & Perone’s (named after the two members comprising the effort: Matthew Pryce and Alex Perone), Corner Piece, was a really unusual, but intriguing album to peruse. Throughout the record, every time I thought the overall feeling was going to go one way or the other – namely leaning toward either the comical or serious side – it always seemed to shift gears. The opening track, “Whoa, Yeah, Yeah,” for example, doesn’t at all determine what the rest of the album will sound like. Rich with tight instrumentation (Pryce and Perone handle everything you hear on the record, save for drums provided by a drum machine), this track, along with “Reggae on Ice” (track two), made me chuckle when hearing the lyrics. Despite the goofiness of some of the lyrics, it was never over the top, and never came off as insincere.
The percussive intro to “K Dubz” (track three), immediately drew me in while several of the pedal effects (talk box, and envelope filter), had me convinced this album was going to be a self-parody sort of work. In all the right ways. Up to this point, the sounds coming from the record were showing me these dudes knew how to play the ever-loving shit out of their instruments while managing to not take themselves too seriously. My take on the record, however, immediately changed upon hearing “Kinda Blue” (track four). This track is much more laid back in tempo, and has a chordal progression that veers into more tonal extensions than on prior songs. Coupling this with a sense of unexplained sadness (a concept many can relate to), “Kinda Blue” directs the album into a whole new area.
“The Sun Will Never Rise in June” (track five) is easily my favorite off the entire album. It has an intense blues and swing feel, with lyrics that could only reference something either Pryce or Perone went through. Perhaps they went through something together? Whatever the case may be, it’s a killer song worthy of multiple listens. While listening to any record, I try to discern for myself what influences the creators might have had behind a record they release. Although it was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what these influences may have been, “A Tune in My Ear” (track seven), screamed The Stranger era of Billy Joel’s catalogue. Amazingly proficient piano work, coupled with soaring guitar work and a strong, compelling voice made this track quite enjoyable to listen to. In order to avoid being repetitive, I’ll sum up a few key points that every song on this record helps to enforce: these musicians are damn good at what they do. From capturing excellent guitar tones, to recording compelling and impressive vocal and piano work, it really is quite the treat to listen to.
The album closes with “Carry” and “Call of the Whale;” tracks eight and nine, respectively. “Carry” is yet another track that offsets the earlier silliness (we could all stand to be a bit more silly, eh?) the record had, as it discusses the inspiration both members have towards someone they never even had a chance to meet. The sentimentality behind the abstract notion of knowing someone through other people’s stories is an interesting concept and one that is captured quite well in this song. “Call of the Whale” is a great, slower tempo song that ends with a fade out of oceanic sounds. Joining this fade out with the meaning behind the lyric hints at the fact that this definitely won’t be the last we hear from them. Personally? This listener can’t wait until he can hear more from Pryce & Perone.