Review: Prey Drive – Tabula Rasa EP

As obvious as it may seem, a band’s debut release is absolutely imperative for how the rest of their career pans out, with the power to make or break them before they’ve even started. That’s why it’s always such a relief to see a new band with real ambition come up strong on their first release, leading to the sort of projection of great things to hopefully follow. On that note, ‘Tabula Rasa’, the debut EP from Norwich’s Prey Drive is exactly that.

A large chunk of the appeal really comes from the instrumentation, taking the guttural, belly-dragging alt-rock of modern day Thrice, and recontextualising it into a modern emo setting. There’s a darker undercurrent that runs through ‘Brand New Skin’ with some excellently raw guitar work, while ‘More Than Magic’ opts for a more anthemic direction, and ‘Like Animals’ even draws on more progressive post-hardcore for a standout closer.

Any real criticisms relate to the sorts of things that will inevitably be ironed out over time; frontman Brad Smith’s vocals feel a bit too thin and willowy to match up with the more muscular musical canvas, and the reverberations felt from their influences are still very prominent in the mix.

But regardless, Prey Drive have already laid down rock-solid foundations for themselves in the future, and while four tracks mightn’t be much to base future success on just yet, for now it’s plenty to whet the appetite for what’s to come. There are problems, sure, but nothing more than all new bands face; if anything, there’s a proficiency shown on ‘Tabula Rasa’ that already puts Prey Drive ahead of their peers.


‘Tabula Rasa’ EP by Prey Drive out now.

Prey Drive links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)


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