Cosmic Thrill Seekers, the new album from Prince Daddy & the Hyena, is many things. It’s an odyssey of epic proportions… a great, galloping sonic road trip across space and time and Albany… boomeranging around a horn of punk, pop, indie, garage rock, and orchestral, Queen-style arrangements and theatrics. It’s an exploration of the fall out after an acid trip, manic self-destruction, bottoming-out and recovering, and then slipping again. It’s a candid, acute documentation of frontperson Kory Gregory’s cyclical mental health states, as told through three acts (The Heart, The Brain, and The Roar) and 14 songs/chapters.
There are three acts in Cosmic Thrill Seekers, each exploring a stage in Gregory’s mental health. “I remember watching the Wizard of Oz one time, and noticing some weird kind of parallels between the cyclical nature of my mental health and that movie,” he says.
“My mental health rotates and jumps from one stage to the next, and then repeats itself.” The closing moments of Cosmic Thrill Seekers reflect this, as the outro to the last track, “The Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger,” morphs into the first muted notes of opener “I Lost My Life.”
On Saturday April 20, Counter Intuitive Records put up a pre-order for one item titled "LEAK ME" –– there were only 100 available, with no description of what band it was for or what the pre-order contained, but it still completely sold out in 1 MINUTE AND 10 SECONDS.
What those 100 fans received in the moment was an email with a leak of the first track off Cosmic Thrill Seekers, "I Lost My Life". The video above has been viewed over 10,000 times since Saturday. What fans will receive closer to June 28 is the rarest variant of the album on vinyl, limited merch, and more.
Kory wrote the entirety of Cosmic Thrill Seekers alone over the course of the last four years. Not even his bandmates knew what was coming; while recording this past winter at PonderRosa Studios with producer-on-the-rise Nick “Scoops” Daradaris, Gregory would even ask them to leave the room while doing vocal takes. Their trust throughout the entire process, and of course the finished product, are tributes to the sort of friendship and community that surround Prince Daddy.
As much as his bandmates encouraged him to pursue the record he needed to make, Kory was also creating a coping tool for his future self, and undoubtedly, many others once it’s released in June. “It’s very, very, very much a selfish record,” he says. “This is for me, to hopefully look back on when I’m in the more destructive phases of the cycle and realize that it’s not permanent and that I’ve confronted it before.”
This collage was designed by Zoe Reynolds of Kisssippi. Zoe spent countless nights over the last year working vigorously on this project, some nights combing over every single detail with Kory til 5 in the morning. The passion and respect between them flows through this art, commanding attention all on its own and weaving together all the moving pieces that make up Cosmic Thrill Seekers.
Cosmic Thrill Seekers is a constant replaying of this cycle, equal parts joyous and challenging; it’s a punk rock, mental health-oriented declaration of, ‘time is a flat circle.’
“The record title is very ambitious and big and grand, but as the first and last song kind of display, the message of the story is almost like, ‘There’s no place like home,’ even though Cosmic Thrill Seekers is the direct opposite of that,” Gregory says. “But it takes a journey to realize that, as it did for me, and as it did for Dorothy.”
To summarize in Gregory’s words: “This has the potential to get semi-dark, if you’re down with that.”
Cosmic Thrill Seekers will be released on Counter Intuitive Records / Big Scary Monsters on June 28, 2019.
The Heart / Passenger
1. I Lost My Life
2. Lauren (Track 2)
3. Fuckin' A
5. Cosmic Thrill Seeking Forever
The Brain / Driver
7. The Prototype of the Ultimate Lifeform
9. Ursula Merger
The Roar / Random Passerby
10. Dream Nails
11. C'Mon & Smoke Me Up
12. Trying Times
14. Wacky Misadventures of The Passenger