The Prodigals: Dreaming In Hell’s Kitchen

Four piece NYC based The Prodigals have been described by no less a rag as New York’s Village Voice as “Jig Punk”, a term that I would disagree with as it seems limiting to what The Prodigals are trying to achieve musically. The Prodigals to me seem to fall somewhere between the frantic Folk-Punk of The Tosser and the more experimental New Yorkism’s of Black 47, yet still firmly rooted to a rich understanding of the traditions of where the music comes from, along with a bass line that can only be described as a living breathing organism that just drives the music.

“Dreaming In Hell’s Kitchen” the follow up to 1999’s “Go On” sees the band further expand their sound bringing in African folk sounds to complement the Irish folk. Sometimes I think I am hearing an Irish Dave Matthews Band or even touches of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” (especially on “Happy Man”). “Dreaming In Hell’s Kitchen” is certainly less “Jig Punk” then “Go On” and the band seem to have made a conscious decision to strive for commercial success on their own terms.

“Dreaming In Hell’s Kitchen” is a classy CD, beautifully written, played and produced by a band that have set their sights on big goals and they certainly have the talent to achieve those goals.

August 2001

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