The saying better late than never certainly applies to the band The Przmatics. They ostensibly formed in 2012 and just released their debut album Always Stuck Here In Between which was recorded in about two weeks. As far as I can tell the band might be entirely one man - Mike Przygoda. I can’t confirm or deny this but either way Przygoda is the main songwriter and seems to be responsible for most if not all of the instrumentation.
Before we get into the music I have to say this is essential listening for people raised in Chicago. As a Chicago native this album was thoroughly enjoyable because it “is a concept album exploring loss and hope throughout the neighborhoods of Chicago.” They mention surrounding town and cities by name and I have to admit I got a kick out of it.
Besides the name dropping the songwriting, production and delivery is on point. They reminded me of a ’90s indie rock or alternative band. Up first is the rocking and catchy “Footprints in the Snow” which combines a healthy dose of Americana with a kick of adrenaline. It’s a single worthy opener that doesn't waste time getting to a catchy chorus. They carry that momentum into garage rock worthy “Etc.”
I was pleasantly surprised by the album highlight “I’m Trying” which displays a more emotionally resonant side of the band. The rocking is taken down a couple of notches but is well worth it. The vocals are truly exceptional here and I was reminded of the band Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo.
The album really hits its stride with “Minnesota” which veers a little more towards Elliott Smith-esque melancholy. “My Invitation Must Be” embraces the Americana he displayed on the opening track while the similarities to Elliot Smith became a little more overt to my ears.
“1979” is a Smashing Pumpkins cover. To be honest I wasn't a big fan of the original version. I’m not being hyperbolic that I preferred this version. As the album progresses I was consistently impressed. The last track “The Other Way” is a gorgeous closer.
It’s actually not all that surprising that Always Stuck Here In Between is as good as it is when you look at the bio for Przygoda. He has dedicated his life to making music. On that note you need talent as well. If you combine dedication and hard work with talent you have a recipe that could make something good. In this case I'd say great. Highly recommended.
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