As Noise Pop turns 20, tracing sound from Overwhelming Colorfast to Young Prisms
The precarious, ground-shifting nature of SF indie — so often fielding copy-cat accusations, so far from the so-called music industry centers — also touches Young Prisms, also reared in SF's bedroom communities yet looking to influences further afield, across the Atlantic, in the form of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Like Colorfast, the outfit has also coped with its share of membership switcheroos: the title of debut Friends For Now might have foretold the departure of guitarist Jason Hendardy and the arrival of vocalist-guitarist Ashley Thomas, whose vocals along with vocalist-keyboardist Stephanie Hodapp's, pushes Prisms further toward the vaguely feminized, sonically diffuse space of the Cocteau Twins.
Songs like "Gone," off YP's upcoming second LP, In Between (Kanine), hinge on nursery rhyme-like vocal lines and a fluid wall of rhythm guitars against which a singular New Order-like guitar line dances. Guitars are used as pretty, pointillistic devices, seamlessly incorporated with washes of synth. People come and go, but here, sonic elements coexist in a more generalized, less personalized harmony, where lyrics are obscured and vocals are used as effects, rejecting the jolts — and listen-to-me force — of Reed's more intimate, ungainly urgency. Do the Prisms reflect a kind of indie progressiveness — an evolution from the punky and individualistic to the ambient and collective? For answers, revisit In Between in 15 years.
With Melted Toys, Tambo Rays, Preteen
Weds/22, 7 p.m., $14
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
With Oranger, Slouching Stars, Peppercorn
Sat/25, 8 p.m., $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF