Big Scary Monsters is a label which has a load of wonderful bands on its roster, including Cultdreams and Martha. It also has Prince Daddy and the Hyena, who released their second album ‘Cosmic Thrill Seekers’ last week.
This album is a concept, told through three chapters which document frontman Kory Gregory’s fallout from an acid trip. It explores Kory’s mental health states in raw detail. This rawness comes across in his voice, while the album was recorded in solitude in his bedroom.
The first chapter is unashamedly punk rock and has an emotional charm to it. ‘I Lost My Life’ is about the aforementioned acid trip, including the powerful statement “Everything will be alright if you shake off the end of the world vibes.” To me, that is where the album changes completely, and then you’re hit by the pace of ‘Lauren (Track 2)’, with those wonderful guitars and crashing drums bouncing around you. ‘Fuckin’ A’ could well be about depression and anxiety, as you’re chained to one place and can’t find the energy to do something else. The anxiety-ridden vocals encapsulate this thought process, and it is reflected in the music.
‘Cosmic Thrill Seeking Forever’ closes the chapter with some beautiful falsetto vocals and dreamy guitars that puts you into a cosmic state. As if you’re travelling through the air. ‘Slip’ is a huge track, a perfect rock song with a lot of aggression and energy which makes you want to dance. But you can feel the anxiety bubbling in the lyrics, and the raspy vocals show a lot of conviction.
The final chapter is a feeling of rebirth, and coming out of the other side. It comes full circle in the last track, ‘Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger.’ There’s a really fun riff, and the brass section adds something really refreshing to their sound. The refrain of “I’m feeling bored and I need support” is catchy, referring back to the first track.
I really enjoyed this album because it felt relatable to me and anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety. It has something for everyone and takes the listener on a soul searching journey.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos