Prom Body / Weed: Live

Prom Body's March 18 set at Topaz in Tucson fills up Side A of this limited edition cassette. The band began as a vanity solo recording project of Sleep Like Trees' drummer Mike Fay but immediately became an underground sensation after releasing the debut album Creep the Strange last summer. Since then, Prom Body has become a full band, and the power of their live performances is captured here.

Songs like "Cavities," "Crumb Bone," and "Safety in Numbers" from Creep the Strange and others from Prom Body's forthcoming second album Naughty By Natural present a very different beast compared to the home studio versions. The tracks still resonate, as they did initially, by compressing complex ideas into brief packages that would fail in lesser hands, but the interaction between Prom Body and their audience adds an intensity and ecstatic give-and-take absent from Creep the Strange.

Vancouver's Weed provides Side B, recorded live on January 11 at Cairo in Seattle, a venue that has served as the blueprint for Topaz, with the same owner. Weed isn't remarkably different from Prom Body, which makes the tape a cohesive listen. Weed's hint of ennui, historically intrinsic to Northwestern acts, but usually absent in the Southwest, functions as a comforting counterpoint, even in the group's most aggressive moments. And there is plenty of aggression throughout, but it's tempered with a sense of community through shared experience and an authenticity that is seemingly not a concern of Prom Body's.

Weed and Prom Body filter real cynicism through different lenses, but each perspective is stellar, as is this cassette.