The Prowling Kind played an album release show for Tennessee, their debut LP, Aug. 28 at the Crescent Ballroom. Members Mickey Pangburn, Jesse Pangburn, Erin Beal, Zach Tullis and David Maddox are looking to make a splash in both their local Arizona scene and on a national stage.
The band started the interview before their show with smiles on their faces. They ended it the same way. When asked what genre they wanted to be associated with, they thought for a couple of seconds and joked about a few answers until Mickey Pangburn said, “just rock.”
Despite this answer, the band is more than “just another rock band.” Tennessee is eclectic. Each song is different from the previous one, and each has a deeper meaning behind it. The whole album is an autobiography of Mickey Pangburn’s life. It tells the story of when her mother took her and ran away from their Knoxville home, seeking refuge for 15 years from Mickey Pangburn’s convict father.
Every song has passion and soul behind it. The lyrics are beautiful, and each song tells its own story while relating to the larger story that makes up the whole album. A highlight from the album is “Babycakes,” which tells the story of Mickey Pangburn and her mother fleeing their home in the night. The song sounds like The Joy Formidable soaked in blues rock.
The band members couldn’t come to a consensus on what their favorite song off the album is. They mentioned the responses they had gotten to the songs and how everyone they meet likes a different song.
“Everyone can relate to this album, and everyone can find one song that they relate to,” Mickey Pangburn said. “That is exactly how an album should be — something people can listen to and find comfort in.”
The live performance of the album brought into light how different each song is and how different each band member is.
Mickey Pangburn is only 5-foot-3-inches, but her voice and presence make her stand a foot taller. The unemotional Tullis’ smile count may have only reached four or five on stage, despite guitar shredding that deserves a grin. He said that “cutting loose” is his favorite part about performing on stage, and the band definitely did that and more.
Jesse Pangburn, who wrote the majority of the songs on the album with his wife, is a drummer who clearly loves performing on stage. David Maddox and Erin Beal round out the band and bring plenty of their own personality to the table. Maddox plays the bass and Beal does a little of everything – keyboards, back-up vocals, dancing and generally having a great time, which apparently doesn’t come naturally.
“The music video (for Tennessee) makes me look so much less awkward than I actually am,” Beal said.
The climb to where they are now has not been easy for The Prowling Kind. The band recorded their 10-track album in eight days. Despite a complicated ascent, the band’s goal is simple: as Maddox said, “to make a living and to be able to quit our day jobs and do what we love.” That is nothing short of the American dream.
While The Prowling Kind may have roots in different genres, what they play is clearly rock ‘n’ roll. This old-school style gives them a niche in Phoenix’s music scene, but it’s their energy that gives them a chance to rise to stardom.
A sample of the band’s show at Crescent gives insight into the scope of their music.