>> The Good:
‘Prehysteria,’ T-Rexstasy’s sophomore full-length album, brings about a more inventive and creative sound than their freshman full length. Channeling David Byrne and sounding a little like ‘London Calling,’ T-Rexstasy delivers a fun rhythmic album that pokes fun at zits, vibrators, and Etsy addicted shoppers. A bit of evolution has made ‘Prehysteria’ more performance art than rock and roll, although there is no hiding the sparkling guitar riffs on “Maddy’s Got a Boyfriend” and “Tattoo!” Singer Lyris Faron, aka “Danger,” spends some time talking, storytelling, and occasionally choir singing her way through ten tracks that mesh well together in style and sound. On “I Don’t Do Lunch,” Faron puts her lyrical skill on parade by gently toeing the double entendre line while she sings “When my tummy rumbles I know I gotta go/ Sorry cutie pie, but there’s something you should know” and you know it’s time to get up and find your pants. Although she does admit in the same track “Maybe if I like you, I’ll take you out to brunch.” Faron’s way with words is just as entertaining as the rest of the band and keeps you listening intently throughout the album. Whether confused about sexuality or calling out the “Pretty Boy” for faking being a feminist to pick up more chicks, the album bounces along with catchy phrases and musical pauses that arrest the listener and make you lean in to hear more.
As much as the band as a whole has evolved musically there isn’t anyone who takes a lead role as a prominent and incredible musician. At times they all mesh well together and at other times it’s a bit cacophonous. There is an overabundance of backing vocals on this album and it can get occasionally confusing as all the voices tend to drown out the song itself. Faron can sometimes sound slightly off-key during her more choir style vocals and amongst the overproduced backing vocals it can be jarring. During “Theme from Prehysteria” the band's introduction will most likely be a hit live, but after a few listens it becomes monotonous and could be heard as a less funny “Skippy’s Farewell” by Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. Faron then goes to her choir voice to end the song and slips in and out of key. On “Girl, Friend” there’s a call and answer that gets muddy and it’s too difficult to tell if this is songwriting or indie production that is its cause, although the heavy reverb on lead vocals would suggest production.
This album is slightly reminiscent of a lot of other bands and other albums. “Zit Song” feels a lot like “Lost in the Super Market” by The Clash and the trumpet on “Coffee?” sounds like it could have been sampled from a Cake album. Then, there’s an overall feeling that this is a long lost Waitresses’ album. Emulation is a form of flattery and also a trait of good students. It’s possible that these musicians are earning their chops, getting better, and finding their place musically as we listen and grow along with them. They might not have their finger on the pulse of their sound yet, but it’s coming along and it’s too interesting to ignore. Perhaps the album is best summed up with its last track “Tattoo!” when Faron coos, “I am not a quiet canvas / For you to draw your art”. This sophomore album will not be easily classified and this band will not be labeled. Although the album’s sound as a whole cannot be defined by a certain genre, the band’s attitude is unequivocally punk rock. 3.3/5 <<