Penguin Prison - Turn it Up EP
Turn it Up EP
I'm breaking one of my own rules by writing this review instead of another. I like to review full albums with the occasional EP peppered in for flavor. Even when I review an EP I like them to be at least five tracks o there is some meat on the bone to comment on. This new EP, Turn it Up, from New York's Penguin Prison however is not over five tracks, but I have been waiting so damn long for him to release something new that I had to just go for it. Luckily it's my blog and I do what I want. Penguin Prison has always had a knack for bright disco inspired pop. HE has produced stellar tracks for others and created a few remixes that re quite nice, but it is writing and performing his own music where He really shines. I've only seen him live once but with a full band He brings this energy that is simply irresistible. I remember when I saw him a few years ago at the El Rey in Los Angeles the house was shaking during his rendition of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" and it caught everyone off guard by how powerful it was. The edginess of Penguin Prison is separate from his pop style, He manages to infuse a real sentiment to his writing and even though it's fun and dancey at first glance most of these songs have a deeper meaning and more to say. "Keep Coming Alive" has the lyrics: "Looking for a job can't find one that matters/And I'm thinking about mistakes I can't unwind/Walking all around looking for the trigger/When the trigger was inside all this time", and they feel poignant about more than just making a silly dance track.
That vibe permeates all his music, simple fun songs are given so much more weight and inspiration in his hands. The thing that may be the most frustrating is his lack of production. It takes years for him to do anything so you are left waiting around begging for something new but it never comes. His last full album came out in 2015 and it was 2011 before that with just a few singles and some remix albums in between. You can tell the work is cared for and He waits for inspiration to strike, but good lord give us something Penguin! This EP really does cook but 15 mins of songs in three years is rough to stay excited about. However Penguin Prison is going back on tour, and to be honest I just fucking love his stuff. He may not make enough of it, but when He puts out new music it's always an event. Enjoy this EP, but tweet the shit out of Penguin Prison to make some more tunes!
8.2 out of 10