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Prize Country
Lottery of Recognition
(Exigent)
by Nicholas Hubbard
01.06.08

I put on
Lottery of Recognition and I jump around, because I haven’t done that in a long time. Then I sit down in my leather armchair. Between one angst-ridden frenzy of a song and the next, I think of lying on my floor when I was 17 and screaming in my head. Music like this will always recall small towns for me; small towns for me are the places that make people bottle up so much of their discontent that it can only come out by banging, banging, banging on drums and playing guitars so hard that fingers, wrists, and elbows ache (I wrote this before I listened closely to the lyrics of “Time in Reno,” which--no lie--include “this town” and “discontent”).

In the world of irate, cynical thrashing, Prize Country does not stand out in any dramatic way. The two keys to a great album are consistency and variety. The Portland quartet definitely has the first, but not the crucial second. The guitar work by Jacob Depolitte, Aaron Blanchard, and Jon Hausler on Lottery is the obvious highlight. It’s not unique among the history of Sabbath descendants (read: Adam Jones, Eric Avery, and Josh Homme), but it’s something riveting and inventive to keep you from nodding yourself into oblivion with the proficient and hypnotic drumming of Josh Northcutt (which is necessary, of course, to carry the music through).

The pinnacle of the album, something impressive and demanding listening several times through, is “New One," which features a short digression about 2 ˝ minutes in that’s worthy of Jane’s Addiction at their best.

More on Prize Country:
www.myspace.com/prizecountry.