Jun 2011 20

Cover Image
The Prep School Tragedy
Category: Industrial / Hip-Hop
Album: It’s All a Show
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: A powerful debut blending industrialized rhythms with aggressive hip-hop from one of the best new acts on the scene.


Some might find the marriage of industrial rock and hip-hop to be a novel idea that harkens back to the days of nü-metal and rap-rock of the late ‘90s. As bands like Stromkern, SMP, Celldweller, and Saul Williams have experimented with the combination to wide acclaim, the novelty of the combination has given way to become a definite style all its own. Hailing from Chicago, the Prep School Tragedy present a blistering debut album with It’s All a Show, chockfull of scathing industrialized production and aggressive rapping, offset by some highly melodic and catchy choruses that bring the music above the simplicity of standard hip-hop.

With production assistance from Sean Payne, there is a stylistic similarity to Cyanotic on many tracks, full of glitch-laden textures so common to that band. Indeed, the Glitch Mode mix of “Hate Everything I Do” could easily have been a track off of any of Cyanotic’s releases; the same could be said of “What Have I Become” as its KMFDM-esque guitars pummel over a highly danceable industrial rhythm. None of this is to discount The Prep School Tragedy’s own merits. Take “Phoenix in the Sky” for instance as its haunting chorus plays atop a slow backdrop of gritty atmospheres reminiscent of the darker works of Front Line Assembly, while “Step into the Night” plays up the metal influences as the vocals take on a caustic growling quality that make it one of the heaviest tracks on the album. But before you start thinking that this is all style and no substance, one need only listen to “Thought I Toldja” with its mockery of the overt materialism and communication breakdown of today’s generation as a chorus of “OMG, LOL, FML, and go to hell” repeats throughout, sung by “The Squad,” The Prep School Tragedy’s own cheerleading team. And then there is “Tearing Me Apart” with its statements against the corporatization of pop culture, while the music is perhaps the album’s most melancholy track as a monotone vocal harmony plays in the chorus atop chilled ambient passages.

If there is anything flawed about The Prep School Tragedy, it would be simply that the band’s influences are readily apparent, both on the industrial and the hip-hop ends, but this is easily forgivable as the strength of the songs and the high production values make It’s All a Show a rather powerful debut. With the industrial/hip-hop style gradually gaining momentum, The Prep School Tragedy stands to become one of the scene’s best new acts and one that will have much to behold on future releases.
Track list:

  1. Hate Everything I Do (Glitch Mode Mix)
  2. Seduqtion
  3. Step into the Night
  4. Phoenix in the Sky
  5. What Have I Become
  6. Smokin’ that Genius (Sippin’ that Bird)
  7. Bussdown
  8. Thought I Toldja
  9. Watchu Wanna Do
  10. Tearing Me Apart
  11. It’s All a Show
  12. Hate Everything I Do (Original Mix)

The Prep School Tragedy Website http://www.theprepschooltragedy.com
The Prep School Tragedy MySpace http://www.myspace.com/theprepschooltragedy
The Prep School Tragedy Facebook http://www.facebook.com/theprepschooltragedy
The Prep School Tragedy ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/theprepschooltragedy
Glitch Mode Recordings Website http://www.glitchmode.com
Accessory Music Website http://www.accessorymusic.com
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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