|The Prime Movers
by Karla Ash
Reissued album from the ‘80s unveils a secret history of Dread Zeppelin, the goofball reggae homage to the ‘70s metal powerhouse Led Zeppelin. Before unleashing Tortelvis on an unsuspecting public, two of the band’s founding members were crafting English post-punk sounds as the Prime Movers. Unfamiliar to American audiences then and now, the Los Angeles group were attached to an Anglophiliac aesthetic, which is proudly displayed on Museum. Definitely a product of its time, Museum is haunted by dreamy stretches of sonic doom; listening to these murky, cloudy riffs is like swimming in the tar pits. The year was certainly 1984, and one can easily imagine college-radio jocks giving this a spin between the latest 4AD imports.
There are two sides to the Prime Movers--a desire to be the next Joy Division, all moody and angular, and an attempt to reach the soaring heights of U2. Lyrically and musically, the group came closer to adopting the dimly-lit grooves of the former. A number of highlights abound, especially for students of the period, including “Pieces,” “In Touch With You,” and the fantastic guitar whirlpool of the title track. Strangely enough, the Prime Movers (who are reportedly making a new LP) will probably have a larger audience in America now with post-punk deemed ultra hip by bloggers.