True Primes – We Have Won (2.7.07)

Posted on July 28, 2008


I won’t speculate as to how much talent is hidden beneath We Have Won’s five songs. Not the point. Instead, imagine waking up with a NyQuil hangover and seeing your best friend sitting in the corner staring at invisible neon butterflies fluttering around. There happen to be some drums and a guitar in the room—but you’ve never played either of those before. There’s also a four-track recorder with a crisp, blank 30-minute tape. Ready? Too bad, we’re recording. True Primes is Che Chen and Rolyn Hu, two New York arts-space impresarios (Hu runs the newly opened Glasslands in Brooklyn)—and while art-scene notoriety admittedly drains some of the allure out of something that should be fresh and uninhibited, try not to hold it against them. Their sound is honestly weird. The guitars are as sparse as guitars get, and the amp’s buzzing is as loud as the drums. Hu sings in a high wail that recalls the Residents’ Eskimo album (somehow in a good way), pealing through hiccupy tremolo effects and onto Chen’s space-echoed moans. Some parts could be mistaken for tragic Breeders studio outtakes—imagine Kim Deal drunkenly trying to play all the instruments at once while a locked-out engineer shakes his head in defeat but keeps rolling tape, ’cuz, screw it, he’s not paying for it anyway. Which is to say, this rules.

[Originally Appeared in Boston’s Weekly Dig 2.7.07]