The universe inhabited by Worcester’s own Prefab Messiahs resembles one of R. Crumb’s psychedelic posters—there’s plenty of room for cartoon characters and bright colors, and it also feels as if there’s a slight whiff of madness to it all.
Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive—their first record since the original breakup in the early ’80s—kicks off with “Ssyddarthurr,” a tale of an idealistic kid (or rather a grown-up who never managed to grow up) that is peppered with cartoon sound effects and Halloween-y synth sounds.
“Weirdoz Everywhere” opens up with a distorted riff that almost screams “Ramones!” but dives straight into psychedelic ’60s pop instead (complete with sunny harmonies and sing-along choruses). “Orange Room” sounds like a secret tribute to Doors/Rolling Stones (or maybe not so secret, since sources of inspiration are easy to recognize), while “College Radio” pays tribute to . . . well, its namesake.
Then there are also tributes to cars (“Bobb’s Psychedelic Car”), rich girls (“Booshwa Sally”), dealing with being an adult (title track), and finally a tribute to the band itself (“Prefab Flashing,” which manages to squeeze samples from both Trio’s “Da Da Da” and “Sssyddarthur” into a track that lasts under a minute).
What separates Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive from a legion of garage/’60s-revival records is its emphasis on catchy hooks and melodies. It’s the kind of record that makes you question why these songs aren’t all over the radio, since so many of them beg to be played again, again, and again. Out on KLYAM and BURGER RECORDS.