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The Prime Movers

Museum

Birdcage

The Prime Movers existed in a world wherein deep, enigmatic vocals and thick-skinned, brooding guitars represented alternative music. Once upon a time "cutting edge" didn't mean cranking the amps to an ear-piercing volume and bellowing incoherently into a microphone; rather, it described idiosyncratic rock artists who lived underground, beneath the lipstick gloss of Top-40 radio.

The Prime Movers epitomize what alternative once represented. Thanks to adventurous young bands such as Interpol and She Wants Revenge, the Prime Movers' modus operandi has become current again. Haunted by goth pioneers such as Joy Division and Bauhaus as well as the arena-filling new wave rhythms of U2 and Big Country (whom they toured with back in the day), the Prime Movers take us back to the heady days of trenchcoats and bright red socks. While not as bleak as Joy Division, the Prime Movers employ similarly ominous and urgent tones in their bass lines, especially on "Wind" and "Lifeline." What's funny is that this chilling, shadowy music is played by the same guys who would later form the hilarious Dread Zeppelin. The groups couldn't be more far apart artistically. Listening to the solemn, atmospheric intro of "Chances," it's hard to imagine any of these guys dressed as Elvis Presley.

Because of the Dread Zeppelin connection, people might purchase this album out of sheer novelty. However, they'll be surprised at how solid it actually is. The Prime Movers, unfortunately, slipped through the cracks in a vibrant rock and roll scene already heavily populated with moody new wavers in the '80s. The Internet Age has now opened doors for a wide rediscovery.

Birdcage Records: www.birdcagerecords.com