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Band Rock Blues


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"Prankstar - One, review (splendid)"

NYC foursome Prankstar mine a loose and funky jam-band vibe, lightly jazzy in places, smooth and soulful in others. It's similar to any number of bands in the Phish/Dead phylum, yet is, at least in places, unusually warm and sexy and skilled. Whoever sings -- it's not clear from sketchy press materials -- has an exceptionally good voice; it's a little heavy on the male melisma, but hits the notes casually, effortlessly, without any apparent effort. The dual guitars, by Jason Presly and Adam Headrick, work together quite nicely, as on the smouldering "Only Me", where one keeps urgent rhythm while the other plunks in light, Spanish-sounding riffs. Still, it's the vocals that lift this debut album above the usual run of jam CDs; they're slightly edgy on "Book of Change", soft and mournful on "Long Cold Winter", raunchily bluesy on "Just Come to Bed". It's the soft murmur against a tide of funky instrumentals that makes One stand out, recalling the eerie sexuality of "Strange Brew".

The disc's second half, starting with "Secret Agent Theme Song", rocks considerably harder than the first, and for the most part seems more derivative and less interesting. The reggae-influenced "Chain Gang" is a thin homage to powerful genre, while soul-referencing "Nasty Game" feels like watered down Hall and Oates. The song that saves side two is "Overfull", a slow and simmering brew of bluesy guitars, pounding drums and shimmering keyboards.

Jam funk isn't my favorite kind of music, but Prankstar does it well. It's worth mentioning that this may be the last Prankstar album for a while, as guitarist Adam Headrick recently shipped off to active duty. Here's hoping he gets back okay and continues to make good music. - Splendid Magazine

"Prankstar - One, review (sound the sirens)"

There was never any doubt that the Dave Matthews Band had talent. Yet while they’ve been able to connect a vast range of global styles, they’ve been somewhat contained for a number of reasons. Since their rise to popularity, there has been an air of compromise to their music- that while they’ve managed to surprise listeners every so often, its clear that a great deal of their recent work seems to have been the result of record label appeasement, dangling for radio airplay, and the need to move a large amount of records. It’s just part of the business for musicians who have hit that level of success. So while the DMB have to toil at writing for other people, a New York area band does what Dave Matthews did with the kind of musical proficiency and smoky room cool that has since deserted Matthews’ flock.

Combining the elements of rock, pop, funk, and R&B/jazz sentiments, Prankstar have the benefit of being musicians without the boundaries of compromise. One, the quartet’s debut album is a hefty dose of rock/funk jams laced with more recognizable sensibilities- from the bass-heavy “Secret Agent Theme Song” and the sexy cool of “Only Me,” to the vocal vibes (the “bum da da’s”) of “Horns of Love,” it’s a collection of music that’s enthusiastically vital. And the best part about the release is that there is never a moment that feels contrived. It’s a consistent effort through and through- and any listener who can appreciate the air of competent musicianship tackling and fusing together a great deal of musical culture with panache can’t go wrong with Prankstar.

It’s a question of whether or not this quartet will be able to sustain this high level over a period of time. And there is perhaps the small issue of whether or not they will sacrifice any of it for a shot at the big time- yet at the moment, that’s not important because One is an extremely adept effort. One that leaves listeners with the desire to come back for more, and for any musician, that’s more than enough.
- Sound the Sirens


One (album)
Rue de Blackwell (album)



New York City band PRANKSTAR combines pop, funk & electric blues to create an ever-evolving brand of modern rock. The new release, RUE DE BLACKWELL, takes you on a tour of the band's influences. From the twang of steel guitar on the country pop "Drinking Song" to the digitally scrambled vocals in the middle of the rocker "Buckhunter", the album
sees the band finding new sounds in a mashup of Oklahoma blues and urban rock and roll.

The sound of the band has at its base a sometimes contentious mix of vocalist/bassist Michael Tuminello's funk and pop influences and the BBQ blues guitar sounds of Adam Headrick and Jason Presley. The
resulting music channels the pulse and grit of New York City alongside the greasy spoon good times of a southern-fried honky-tonk.

After releasing their 2004 debut album, "One", the group underwent a series of changes. Guitarist Adam Headrick left for a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005, and the remaining members, expecting Adam's
return, chose to fill the gap in the band's sound with
the addition of John McCann on keyboards. McCann's jazz-inspired sense of harmony and synth programming wizardry added a new layer to the
band's sound.

As new lineup began to gel, original drummer David French left for Los Angeles, and was replaced by Spiro Edgos in 2005. Edgos proved a versatile and energetic addition to the band, and in late 2005, Headrick
returned from Iraq.

With all the right pieces in place, the band returned to the studio for their sophomore effort, Rue de Blackwell. The album was recorded at Axis Sound in New York City with Steve Rossiter as engineer.
"RdB" comes much closer to the group's live performance, and the rocking riffs and solos, synth and electric guitar tweakery, and soul-inflected vocals add up to an agitated balance between vintage and
modern sounds.

The album's guitar and piano rhythms are counterbalanced by a thread of mysterious and indecipherable sounds that add depth and curiosity to the tracks. The leaner, harder sound Prankstar has found on Rue de Blackwell has invited comparisons to the Black Keys, White Stripes, and Kings of Leon.

Having demonstrated a sizable leap in both content and cohesion between their first two albums, Prankstar seems primed to hit its stride in 2008 with hard-hitting, no b.s. live shows and an ever-increasing prowess in the studio.