MusicRecord Reviews

King of Prussia

King of Prussia debuted as an Athens band, but frontman Brandon Hanick kicked off to Barcelona for a while before settling in Chicago. But you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s a Brit upon hearing Transmissions from the Grand Strand. There is a dignified air to his carefully enunciated and crisp delivery—the kind of voice you’d expect to narrate the adventures of some alliterative woodland creatures (like, Harry the Hedgehog, or something) in an English children’s cartoon. It’s enough to make a Anglophile’s heart melt, that’s for sure. Hanick’s honeyed tone is at once pointed and romantic, serving as a graceful complement to the swelling soundtrack.

Transmissions is pop music at its most sophisticated. Each track offers unique, crafted arrangements that are rich in detail and texture. The band certainly borrows heavily from the ’60s (more The Association than The Beatles), but Hanick foregoes any sappy choruses or psychedelic flower power in favor of thoughtful, nuanced narratives. Even if love is often on his lips, Hanick’s poetic phrasing is never trite, sometimes even venturing into darker or politically charged themes that belie the buoyant harmonies.

Having recorded in the States and abroad, with players from all over the world, King of Prussia has managed to pull together a delightful collection of mini epics. Maybe we can thank Athens’ own Jesse Mangum for the album’s pristine and cohesive feel—he mixed the record locally at The Glow Studio. But between the shimmering guitars, flirtatious strings and insightful lyrics, Transmissions demands repeat listens and reveals more with every spin. Now come back home, Hanick, so Athens can reclaim you.