Terry Prince & The Principles are a Memphis-based band with a well-developed sound and solid local roots. They’ve recorded a new EP entitled You Are Here at Rocket Science Audio in Memphis. Their talents will soon be showcased through a live set at the well-beloved Grimey’s, a Nashville record store. And, perhaps most importantly for the local audience, Terry Prince & The Principles will be at Bassmnt Jackson this Friday night.
The first thing you’ll notice about You Are Here is the guitars. A mixture of blues-rock and psychedelia, the kind that you’ll recognize immediately as a Southeast staple, hits your ears before any other sound on the first track, “Time Zones.”
Second, you’ll catch the deep tones of Jesse Davis, the lead vocalist for Terry Prince & The Principles. I’ve read some articles that have likened his voice to that of the late Lou Reed, and it’s a fairly accurate- and favorable- comparison.
The third thing is how easily the song “Time Warp at the Drive-In, part 2” could fit into the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack. Melancholy vocals, lyrics oozing nostalgic nights, and of course how the title echoes the original “Time Warp” song-and-dance number from the 1975 film: it makes perfect sense. But then you may recall the annual Time Warp Drive-In movie screenings in Memphis, and the picture that the band paints of good times and wistful emotions begins to take on a parochial flair. It’s not about Rocky at all- it’s a friendly wave to a hometown’s favorite pastime, based right in West Tennessee.
Finally, You Are Here will cement your attention with the closing track, “Latchkey Kid,” a softer song where the Lou Reed comparison truly shines through. The vocals fall right in that range between speaking and singing, telling of the narrator’s childhood experiences and lingering feelings.
For Terry Prince & The Principles, the past reaches out to the present through stories and recollections, familiar places and perceptions. You Are Here reflects on what was left behind while acknowledging how present feelings prevent a return: Davis sings on “Latchkey Kid” that “Oh, I know-I know I’m not going back.” Yet the listener will go back, not to the past, but to listen to You Are Here again- because a story that is not worth a second visit is not worth telling in the first place.
*This review is also shared in Our Jackson Home magazine.