Image of Prison - Upstate
Record Label
Drag City

About this item

Prison is a state of mind, an experience, a loose collective, a band, a jam band and a bunch of psychedelic dudes who aren’t your average bunch of jambanders.

The only way to really get it is to go to Prison - and if you’re not from greater NYC and haven’t showed up at any of the shows, here’s your best bet: their breakout album, ‘Upstate’. And what a breakout. So high, you can’t get under it; so wide, you can’t get over it. How wide? Every song has two titles, that’s how wide. And almost everybody sings, all the time. That wide.

Sure, you can break down the numbers - five guys, five songs and four sides of vinyl in one gatefold sleeve - but that won’t get you ‘Upstate’, either. Prison is the sound of everybody in the room figuring out where to go, individually and collectively. As they go through it, the meaning changes, the destination changes, the words mean something different. It’s meaning and no meaning, rising and falling, sinking and flying on the back of something massive cacophonized by three guitars, four vocals, a bass and drums. A lot of information bouncing around and enough time to really get you out of yourself.

The Prison population changes with the seasons, and during the season this album was recorded, Sarim Al- Rawi, Mike Fellows, Sam Jayne, Matt Lilly and Paul Major were in Prison. Sarim you might know from Liquor Store, Mike’s made a bunch of scenes and records as Mighty Flashlight, Sam, who passed away in 2020 (RIP) was in Love as Laughter, and Paul Major you know from Endless Boogie, who Matt had roadied for, and, despite being “just a skateboarder who loves music” with no previous experience on the drums, he and Sarim inaugurated the Prison experience seven years ago. Since then, it just fell together, and it keeps doing so. A free thing called Prison.


Hold The Building Up / The Prison Within
Hold ‘em Up / Comin’ Down On Me
Low Hangin’ Disco Ball / So Alone
I Always Get What I Want / Playin’ Pool With The Planets
Destroy / Cookin’ With Heat

You may also like

Back to top