"Don't schedule a show anywhere near your wife's due date," Prime Ministers guitarist Brandon Malik says. His band has forgotten that before, but that's nothing new. "Having spouses, children and day jobs makes rehearsing a scheduling nightmare," he says. Still, band practice is solace, and when the songs are this good, it's worth putting up with some diaper rash on your guitar pick. The Ministers have been honing their Midwestern pop since 1999, but with the Budget Cuts EP they've made something true. The guitars in "Four Stars" and "Make Me Your Mission" chime in filigrees of cherry-red clarity, and Todd Wicks' grainy plea is a cry of victory from every guy who didn't wear cool jeans in high school. That they're husbands and fathers isn't unique. Hundreds of musicians are also jugglers. But the Prime Ministers embrace their suburbanism and rock their domesticity. When Wicks wails the chorus of "Power to the Front Shields," you realize music doesn't always have to be about the cigarette burns. It can also be about release, and the realization that a baby sleeps even less than rock 'n' roll. The Prime Ministers write songs from a place that's content, but still streaked with longing.
Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].