The Promise Ring have finished recording their highly anticipated Anti- / Foreign Leisure debut album and are readying for a spring 2002 release. Produced by Stephen Street, known for his work with The Smiths, Morrissey, Blur and The Cranberries, and recorded in the picturesque countryside of Surrey, England, TPRís latest offering finds the band building on their signature style while stretching out in new terrain.
Not only did TPR experiment with a new producer and a new country for their as-yet-to-be-titled release, but they also came into the writing and recording process with a reinvigorated perspective. They had no choice in the matter, with the (very) emergency frontman Davey vonBohlen suffered last yearña benign brain tumor. This break gave TPR quite a wake-up call. In the months following vohBohlenís surgery, TPR took a deep look inward to question what was really important in their music. The answer was plain and simple: the songs, and the stories they tell. No longer would they limit themselves to things loud and fast in the guitars-bass-drums vein. "Iím suspicious that the doctor stole all my fast songs," jabs vonBohlen. So on this new album, vonBohlenís precocious lyrics are wrapped in layers of piano, drum machines and the odd junky synthesizer punctuated with Jason Gnewikowís tricky guitar hooks.
The Promise Ring have proved themselves to be lasting pioneers in the rock world. They have outlived most of their indie peers and maintained a devoted fanbase that has kept their up-and-coming status constant for more than seven years. Their span of three EPs and three full length albums have also won over the critics, receiving accolades everywhere from the well-respected pages of The New York Times to Spin to the ubergroovy Teen People. Look for The Promise Ring to continue turning heads next spring.