Prayers for Atheists - Prayers for Atheists (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Prayers for Atheists

Prayers for Atheists (2009)

Strange Famous

Prayers for Atheists' self-titled debut EP comes with an interesting backstory. Jared Paul was among those arrested at one particular RNC protest in 2008; he was charged with "felony-riot," but after some funds were raised by fans and supporters, an attorney was hired for his defense and the case was dropped. The resultant record is a celebration of sorts; while one can see it's certainly inspired, it's pretty good musically, too.

Prayers for Atheists is mostly Rage Against the Machine-influenced hip-hop/punk tracks and otherwise `80s hardcore-type jams. While sometimes these styles interestingly converge (see the middle of "Patriarchy Presents"), they're usually pretty distinct (the live cut of "Tom Delay" is a straight-up repetitive `80s hardcore sing-along in the best way possible). The RATM influence is pretty undeniable, especially with Paul (who does lead vocals here) sounding a pinch like Zach de la Rocha, but thankfully, this is one of those post-Rage bands who clearly "got it." Even as the raw "Tom Delay" quickly transitions to the entirely more nimble, restrained "Lot's Wife," Paul's punctual syllable delivery is deliberate and thoughtful and not at all jarring despite its predecessor.

Pretty much all the songs revolve around Paul's jailing experience, or otherwise his political views ("Tom Delay! / Fuck you!"). Whie the record's kinda one-sided, his images are plenty picturesque and why he would solely sing about that makes sense.

A very solid debut whose traits and inspirations you can hear and see clearly but can enjoy all the same.

Prayers for Atheists EP