Quirky and, dare we say it, a little pretentious...
Zoe Street Howe 2007
Let’s be honest. What some people may love about this arch, deliberately enigmatic little trio and their angular debut album are the same things that will irritate others in no small way. It’s one of those.
Those of you seeking a new Kills to love, however, then here is something even more sparse, skeletal and pouty to fill that void, albeit admittedly less mature. The Prinzhorn Dance School, for those of you as yet unaware, consists of a half-speaking half-singing man (Tobin Prinz) and a woman who occasionally shouts things (such as ‘hobgoblins’. And why not?). That’s Suzi Horn. And, dare we say it, it’s largely rather pretentious.
From the off we learn pretty quickly what the Prinzhorn schtick is: repeated motoriks of thunking guitar and naive thudding drums reminiscent of the infinitely more adorable and melodic Glas Vegas. And of course, some jerky shouty vocals from Suzi Horn and Tobin Prinz. It’s a very long album – considering most of the 16 tracks are, to be fair, the same song slightly rearranged, or with a different random word being shouted. ‘Beeswax!’ for instance.
“Up! Up! Up!”, was a novelty for some when it appeared in May, with repeated shoutings of, you guessed it, ‘Up! Up! Up!’, guitar lurching luxuriantly off key, all mingling under a veil of vague intrigue. But "Hamworthy Sports And Leisure Centre" is smirkingly posy, and could well provoke a rolling of eyes from the not so easily impressed.
Latest single “You Are The Space Invader” fares better, the same posiness hovers but there is more to interest the listener and it’s almost danceable. “Spaceman In Your Garden” is probably the best track on the whole album, displaying a mysterious melodic softness clashing gently against the insensitive, relentless strumming.
There’s something interesting about the Prinzhorn Dance School, certainly, but there are layers of chilly self-consciousness to be chipped at first before we can see more than a glimpse of it.