Roll the tape! Roll whatever you got, if you got 'em! Rock
and roll! It's time to take a trip to Prison. You ready to go
Nah...you're not. Unless...are you ready to set yourself
free, no matter what the consequences? Cause if you are, then
yeah, you're ready to party with Prison.
Straight outta Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York City, USA,
THE WORLD, Prison is a state of mind, an experience, a loose
collective, a band, a jam band and a bunch of psychedelic
dudes who aren't your average bunch of jambanders. All that,
all at once, ALL THE TIME. You get what you're dealing with
No...you don't. The only way to REALLY get it is to go to Prison --
and if you're not from greater NYC and haven't showed at any of the
shows, here's your best bet: their breakout album, Upstate. And
whatta breakout! So high, you can't get under it; so wide, you can't
get over it! How wide? Every song has two titles, that's how wide. And
almost everybody sings, like, all the time. That wide.
Sure, you can break down the numbers -- five guys, five songs and
four sides of vinyl in one gatefold sleeve -- but that won't get you
Upstate, either. Prison is the sound of everybody in the room figuring
out where to go, individually and collectively. As they go through it,
the meaning changes, the destination changes, the words mean something
different. It's meaning and no meaning, rising and falling, sinking
and flying on the back of something massive cacophonized by three
guitars, four vocals, a bass and drums. A lot of information bouncing
around and enough time to really get you out of yourself! Take a
look at the titles: each one a dichotomous inquest that the assembled
Prison-ers march upon with fervor, glee, vengeance -- a whole spectrum
of feels and perspectives woven into the jam for you to see.
This'll take you places!
The Prison population changes with the seasons, and during the season
this album was recorded, Sarim Al-Rawi, Mike Fellows, Sam Jayne, Matt
Lilly and Paul Major were in Prison. Sarim you might know from Liquor
Store, Mike's made a bunch of scenes and records as Mighty Flashlight,
Sam, who passed away in 2020 (R.I.P., brother) was in Love as Laughter
-- and Paul Major you know from Endless Boogie, who Matt had roadied
for -- and despite being "just a skateboarder who loves music" with no
previous experience on the drums, he and Sarim inaugurated the Prison
experience, like, seven years ago. Since then, it just fell together
and it keeps doing so. A free thing called Prison.
Just go for it! Follow the signs, listen up,
have fun. That's how Prison got Upstate.