Cassette, Vinyl LP
At first listen, Prehysteria, the latest album from T-Rextasy, appears to be written lovingly by the band, for the band. (At least, those dinosaur puns seem designed to crack themselves up.) Like the NYC-based band’s sound in general, this punchy record could be loosely, lazily categorized as a post-punk LP, at least until you dig deeper. The group, which consists of vocalist Lyris Faron, guitarist Vera Kahn, bassist Annie Fidoten, and drummer Ebun Nazon-Powe, have previously named in interviews a varying cluster of influences, ranging from The Bags and Johnny Cash to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Avril Lavigne. Album highlight “Coffee?” is a direct product of those broad tastes, with the band fluctuating between ’70s punk, funk, ska, and a pop breakdown that easily could’ve come from a lost, decade-old Ke$ha song. Later, on “Baby,” they use sugary harmonies and reverbed-out snare drum to tap into the overwhelming sweetness of a ‘60s girl group, a compelling counterbalance for the shaggy indie-rock riffs. The production is a little on the lo-fi side, conjuring images of a dirty, energetic Brooklyn warehouse practice space that’s littered with paper coffee cups and filled with laughter.
There’s a theatricality to T-Rextasy’s lyrical style that feels brassy (and maybe even a little corny) at times, and the music is all the more charming for it: Take “The Zit Song,” where Faron chronicles a particularly bad acne breakout to shape her central message of affirmation: “‘Cause I’m the prom queen, I’m the teen dream, worship me baby, when you see me you’ll scream.” From vintage shopping to zits to high school to dating apps, the subject matters on Prehysteria often teeter on the line between frivolous and fun-loving. The humor the quartet incorporate is refreshing, calling back to queercore icons Pansy Division—not just in its discussion of sexuality, but in its overarching, joyful camp. In times like these, when the world feels absolutely bleak, it’s invigorating to hear T-Rextasy focus on the little things while having so much fun—with us, with each other, and most importantly, with the music that they’re making.