Formed last year, Nick Prol and the Proletarians’ debut album released this year entitled, Loon Attic is this cross between Psychedelic, Avant-Pop, Musique-Concrete, and the Rock In Opposition movement. Following in the footsteps of Knifeworld, Henry Cow, XTC, The Residents, and William D. Drake and with the productions of Prog Rock Deep Cuts’ Ian Beabout and Ben Spees from the Mercury Tree, it shows Nick following in the footsteps of the bands.
Alongside Nick who plays Guitar, Sax, and does Lead Vocals, it contains Dave Newhouse (The Muffins) on Woodwind, along with Ben Spees and Connor Reilly on Bass and Drums. There’s also guest appearances to name a few by lending Nick a helping hand by knowing they’ve got his back including Bent Knee’s Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth, Knifeworld’s Charlie Cawood, Cheer Accident’s Thymme Jones, Bob Drake, Stop Motion Orchestra’s Mo Ha Dev, and Muffins own Paul Sears to name a few.
There are nine highlights on the album that not just took me by surprise, but kept me guessing near the very end. You have pieces like Shiny & Round and Another Groan. Both of the pieces have this Crimson-sque vibe as the previous track has reminiscent as if Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks was taken to an insane asylum as if he’s gone berserk with some wacky vibrations with an intense finale. Elsewhere, 8th Wonder, is this dystopian 3/4 waltz that is something straight out of bad dream from Pee-Wee's Playhouse as the characters become terrifying to make Pee-Wee himself scared out of his wits.
The Madame Spider which features Carla Diratz with her shivering vocal arrangements, you could feel her presence as if she is hypnotizing the listener through her voice. At first the piece sounds almost as if the piano was being dismantled through an echo chamber of auto-destructive art in the styles of the late great Gustav Metzger, but it has this haunting drone done through the minds of Univers Zero.
One of the most insane tracks from Loon Attic is Marry Annette. It has this Post-Punk/Post-Rock late ‘70s drive between Devo, Cardiacs, and Max Webster with some wacky signatures while Reprise pays tribute to the late ‘60s spy thrillers which in my opinion of the Italian cinema of Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. With snapping fingers, Dave chilling sax, and Ben’s psychedelic guitar, sets into of what the main character is going to do next.
Under the Bed is a quirky little short melodic twisted number done in the styles of Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica while Beekeeper’s Suit delves into some chaotic, moody, scatting, vocalization of a haywire composition as Nick and R. Stevie Moore honor The Faust Tapes. But it’s Carvings on the Wall that is a special treat. It has this Knifeworld feel as Charlie appears on the track by doing his fuzztone bass.
It has a nightmarish world of something gone horribly wrong as the piece is Psych Avant-Pop at it’s best. You can almost imagine Nick following in Kavus’ footsteps to pay tribute to the band’s music and honoring it. I hope Nick will continue to do more with The Proletarians for years and years to come. I can imagine as I’ve mentioned in my reviews, there’s no stop sign for him. This is another highlight for 2017. Not to mention his amazing artwork he did for the debut.