Crushed Beaks - The Other Room - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Crushed Beaks - The Other Room

by Bill Golembeski Rating:9 Release Date:2019-08-09
Crushed Beaks - The Other Room
Crushed Beaks - The Other Room

With all things rock ‘n’ roll, it all begins, and it all ends at the crossroads. And this album is smack dab at the juncture of dense psych melodies, intricate 70’s hard rock, post-punk (think The Cure, The Lucy Show, or The Chameleons UK), and the big windmill sonic wall of the current post-rock Mogwai moment.

Now, give this one time because its thick pulsing sound demands patience to reveal its charms.

“Sky Burial” begins with a great melodic guitar figure. And then it catches fire with thrashy rock and an intense vocal by guitarist Matthew Polie. But that melodic guitar creeps through the tune, while Alex Morris’ bass pumps a deep pulse, and Scott Bowley is a powerhouse engine room. This is tight and tough stuff that spins with so many colors of sound. In a way, I am reminded of U2’s urgent “I Will Follow,” in the sense that this razor-sharp rock with a modern distorted twist.

This is heavy stuff. “Strange Things” is even tougher, with hard chords that yield to that pulsing bass, which in turn frames even more harsh guitar chords. But the vocals soar with a nice melody. There’s a wonderful guitar break before the deep thrashy stuff returns to end the song. “Right Machine” simply grooves. Again, the vocals carry a nice tune while the band plays dense, and quite frankly, beautiful rock ‘n’ roll noise. “Silver Tongue” has an intricate guitar bit and rocks hard with a psych vibe. But, truly, the band has a wonderful sense of juxtaposition between hard and soft textures. “Ad Nauseam” is quick- step pop music that gets warped into deep dimensions.

Oh my, “Honesty Box” just rocks and dances at the crossroads of power trio history. The tune is a live wire of tough nut rock ‘n’ roll music. These guys bleed electricity with guitar riffs, bass, and drums. Way back when, Buddy Holly and the Crickets did the very same thing.

Oh my (again), “Bonfire Night” is another song that simply, somehow, manages to contain its own combustion. But just barely. Adrian Borland’s The Sound played this sort of music. And this music accelerates the pulse into a bigger sonic orbit.

As said, give this one time because its heavy grooves and clever melodies will rise to the surface with repeated patient listening. “On a Limb” is yet another epic that manages beauty, destruction, and drama in its brief rock lifespan.

Nice: “Thinking Backward” is almost acoustic in its delivery. The album catches its breath.

But “Jupiter” rocks hard, and is strident in its groove. It reminds me of all the great 70’s hard rock bands like (my beloved) Stray who played tough guitar rock but were always willing to offer up the divine melody so as to appease the gods of serrated harmony.

“Red Shift” hangs onto punky roots. This is stern stuff with a really nice change of pace as the bass takes charge (just for a moment), only to have the rough-hewn guitar return.

“Elsewhere” floats for a bit, but a big sonic guitar fires the tune. Ah, once again, the repeated plays reveal a great and fairly complex melody. All cylinders are on fire, until the end where the tune floats, again, into final grooves and stamps a soft exclamation point to the end of a very vital and very modern rock record. 

This record punches with tough gloves, but it always retreats to the neutral corner when the big blast of sonic muscle is delivered. I’ll say it again (because the third time is the charm) this album demands many plays. Its density belies so many wonderful melodies and varied textures. “Silver Tongue” even conjures The Beatles. Yeah, this record spins at the crossroads, a rock ‘n’ roll vortex that swirls with the sounds of so many great rock bands, into which Crushed Beaks blend their own tough chords, urgent vocals, rock trio power, nice noise, and really great melodies—all within a blink of a needle’s eye.

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