The Phoenix Prestige, a three-piece band originally from Ireland and now residing in Hangzhou, China, is no stranger to releasing a cascade of brilliant experimental rock. Having released two demos and two EPs in the span of four years, their latest, “The Ivory Skull”, is a three-song EP that was released in March.
Titled after the album (or perhaps the other way around), the first song, “The Ivory Skull”, begins the EP with dark, steady rhythms reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins. While it is a perfect epitome of experimental rock, the second song, “Dare to be like Daniel”, is a soft acoustic song of loss. While it is certainly a little odd to follow a heavier rock song, this proves that The Phoenix Prestige can indeed work both fast and slow songs well, especially making a slow ballad like this one stay in your head. However, a personal favorite would be the one aptly saved for last, “Black is the Colour”. A song about love, the melody is not only infused with the usual instruments of rock, but also with a female voice singing in Mandarin and a traditional Chinese instrument, the erwu.
Perhaps what makes this record stand out so much is that it is a perfect blend of both musical and cultural elements. Of course, it helps that this band has a way of captivating listeners with its pounding beats and quality tunes. Look out for the emergence of The Phoenix Prestige from the underground scene in Hangzhou!