If you really want Memorials (and ex-Mars Volta) drummer Thomas Pridgen to define his Bay Area band's powerfully psych-y, soul-spiked tuneage, you're almost gonna have to bully him into it.
That's how a plucky music reporter for the Danbury, Connecticut daily News-Times broke down Pridgen's resistance last week, heaping friendly harassment on the drummer and eventually extracting the following nugget of reluctant self-description: "hard progressive black rock." Sure, it's an elusive answer from an elusive dude belonging to a pretty elusive band. Yet still, it's apt. The Memorials are three young, black musicians — singer Viveca Hawkins, guitarist Nick Brewer, and Pridgen — with roots in almost every conceivable kind of noise, from hip-hop to jazz to the Mars Volta's progg-y pop-rock. And as he told the News-Times, Pridgen would prefer people lay off the labels.
"I just call it music," he said. "We all have some crazy backgrounds, we take the things that we like out of all the styles that we play, and we try to put it together and make cool music."