PREP – Line By Line

Four piece London massive Prep are hot on the heels of their last EP, ‘Cold Fire’, with their latest release and it’s just as impressive as their previous offerings. Backed by some heavy hitters on previous EPs – Korean R&B megastar DEAN, Anderson Paak collaborator Pomo & Kitsuné signing Reva DeVito to name but a few – these tracks sit lightly on my soul while listening to them on a dark late autumn night. I’d be better placed listening to these sat in a quiet city square, strong European coffee in front of me and a scorching summer sun beating down. But me and my warm blanket will make do with the place these four tracks transport me to. The roll-call of guests joining PREP’s singer Tom Havelock (who has previously written for Riton & Ray BLK), keyboard player Llywelyn Ap Myrddin (already an established classical & opera composer), drummer Giom (who has headlined Fabric and toured with George Fitzgerald) and producer Dan Radclyffe (noted for his work on recordings by the likes of Drake and AlunaGeorge) is just as strong this time around.

Title track ‘Line by Line’ sees Paul Jackson Jr (Google him, he’s a legend) and next generation funk idol, Vulfpeck’s Cory Wong bring the funk and smooth sounds some of the seven million people who streamed the group’s first EP in 2016 will be familiar with.It’s easy listening at its best but the stark honesty in the lyrics brings your high to a stand still as quickly as the music lifts you. Next up, Monsta-X singer Shownu lends a suitably silken guest verse to lead-off single ‘Don’t Look Back’. Again the funk, the off beats move through your shoulders and the lyrics – “Don’t look back, he won’t be following…. Don’t look back, just walk away” stay with me long after I’ve finished listening – a total juxtaposition to the easy melodies and guitar that accompanies it. The group describe this album as being all about the guitars, and they aren’t wrong! There’s a bit of a digression with ‘Leaning on You’ for me. It’s 80’s synths, Jackson-esque and Havelock’s falsetto suits it perfectly. The tight loops drive it forward and the guitars are again executed beautifully. It’s just not quite as easy listening for me – it’s probably intentional knowing the skills these guys breathe – but it’s a bit of a move. Final track ‘I Can’t Answer That’ is a mixture of the two styles – the driving synths and ear worm chorus are a strong end. Another impressive, slick and structured offering from the enigma that’s slowly revealing itself that is Prep.

Line By Line: Release Date: 9th November 2018 (B3SCI Records)

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