Prince Daddy & The Hyena takes one giant leap with ‘Cosmic Thrill Seekers’

Joel Thompson

“Cosmic Thrill Seekers” is the second full-length album from New York band Prince Daddy & The Hyena, and it cements their place as the intergalactic rulers of thrash and psychedelic infused pop-punk.

Prince Daddy & The Hyena is a band that has always been deeply personal, and their rawness and vulnerability are what has made them gain such a dedicated following over recent years. They built that following using eerily relatable lyrics, instrumentals that exude pure emotion and entirely unique song structures. Their sophomore LP “Cosmic Thrill Seekers” takes the basic principles that form their style and expands them to momentous and epic reaches.


Prince Daddy’s strongest skills are their ability to give you the unexpected, as well as using their numerous influences to bend genres within their songs. Often, the band tricks you into believing a song will be a certain way, but there’s always a point that everything changes. “Cosmic Thrill Seekers” executes this idea on a much larger scale. Nothing in this album can be expected, but surprisingly, it doesn’t come at the expense of cohesiveness.

The album is broken into three acts: “The Heart/Passenger,” “The Brain/Driver” and “The Roar/Random Passerby.” The songs within each act follow its title thematically. Act one focuses on the emotions of the narrator, act two centers on the thoughts within the narrator’s mind and act three follows the pain he experiences from the previous two. The majority of the album deals with lyrics and thematic ideas related to and surrounding mental health, including the effects of drug use, unhealthy coping mechanisms and how friendship (or lack thereof) plays into one’s mental health.

“Cosmic Thrill Seekers” is a high concept album cleverly disguised as just another DIY plunge into fake depths. Prince Daddy provides a genuinely emotional and deeply relatable record, one that resonates down to the core and stays with you after its end.
The album opens with “I Lost My Life,” a sorrowful and quiet track that has ragged vocals over a simple acoustic guitar and a soft piano melody. This introduction is a contrast to the rest of the album; however, as the song reaches the two-minute mark, everything changes. The song explodes into a mixture of passion and acid-punk inspired chaos that’s only the first taste of what’s to come.

Eventually, “I Lost My Life” bleeds beautifully into “Lauren (Track 2),” which is a high energy thrash punk song reminiscent of the band’s earlier work. The transition between the two songs sets a precedent for the rest of the album. Each song leads perfectly into the next, and often, it’s hard to tell when one song ends and the next begins. However, this doesn’t mean that parts of the album are forgettable. Every track, lyric and instrumental demands the entirety of your attention, which not only warrants but also rewards obsessive and consecutive listens.

One of the album’s strengths is the way it grows on you; however, this is also one of its weaknesses. The first listen of this album does not do itself justice, similar to the rest of Prince Daddy’s discography. You have to work and listen to it over and over again to truly understand the depths that it goes. Most of the nuance and craftsmanship of the album isn’t found until you’ve listened to it a near-excessive amount of times, more than the majority of people would be willing to give it.

This growth over consecutive listens is seen especially in the instrumentals and backing vocals. Extreme amounts of detail and attention were put into every section of every song, and a new guitar riff, keyboard melody or drum beat finds a way to the center of your attention. One of the most exciting aspects of the instrumentals is how they interact from song to song and even recall sonic ideas from different points throughout the album. But again, this depth only comes from numerous listens and direct attention from the listener.

Overall, “Cosmic Thrill Seekers” is one of the best punk albums to come out in the 2010s and is an essential album for the late 2010s punk/DIY scene. Its only real weakness is the dedication and commitment required to understand its full value; however, this is only truly an issue for newcomers to modern punk music.


Best Tracks: “Lauren (Track 2),” “Dialogue,” “Slip,” “The Prototype of the Ultimate Lifeform,” “C’ mon & Smoke Me Up” and “Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger.”
Worst Tracks: None