Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cassette Review: Crown Larks "Population" (Already Dead Tapes)

After listening to the Crown Larks cassette "Blood Dancer" I fell in love with them.   This puts me in an awkward position because of how I feel about "Population".   You see, people often ask me: "If I send you a cassette how long will it take before it is reviewed?"   Well, Jimmy, here is some top secret, backstage, behind the scenes type of information for you.   I will listen to a cassette as many times as it takes for me to write a review of it.   The only thing I can tell you in terms of numbers is that it's always more than once.   I will listen until I feel like I have enough to write about it and sometimes that takes three times or four times and sometimes it takes more.    There is no real way of knowing, but, hey, do you want the press or not, James?

When I first started listening to "Population" I immediately was reminded of all of the things I loved about Crown Larks.     There is this theory I have about music where if something sounds good and something else sounds good, why not combine it and see if that sounds good.   Really combining all of the best sounds possible to create one ultimate sound makes me think of Erases Eraser in an electronic/noise sense, but when it comes to rock music I think of Crown Larks.   There are horns (sometimes), but this is mostly a rock n roll band that embraces everything you love about rock music and tosses aside all of the bullshit.

Mainly because I'm hungry and am always either thinking about food or eating it, I will say that trying to pick a singular influence out of this cassette can be trying.    I actually prefer to go to Moe's over Chipotle (don't get me started) and as such I will literally tell the person everything I want in my Joey Homewrecker burrito (How about some free food now, eh?) and then when I eat it, I still don't really taste cucumber or olives or hot sauce-- all of the tastes just blend together to form one new taste.   Does that make sense to you?  Can you see why that comparison is being made here?  Is your mind expanded?  Are you hungry?  Am I asking too many questions?

When I first started listening to Aloha there was another band on their label that I often associated with them.   Yes, I do love Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! but I feel like there was another band I'm just forgetting about.   But if you go back to that time in the history of Polyvinyl, I'm sure Crown Larks would have fit in then (Though I'm not going to say the same now because I haven't looked at the Polyvinyl roster for a while and, well, that's for personal reasons I won't get into here)    I also think of it in some ways of reminding me of Pinback, so I needed to add that.

Through the adrenaline rush of At-The-Drive-In comes this psychedelic sound which reminds me of The Doors but not so much that I would say Crown Larks sound like The Doors as much as they just imply the same sort of ideas-- like being lost in the desert.    But there is that psych feel to the music as I think of this as being like Jefferson Airplane even though all I really know about that particular band is from that one karaoke scene in "The Cable Guy".   Still, Crown Larks could have played Woodstock even if only for their unique style of rock with horns  (Shout out to Traffic)

Back to my original point, this cassette gave me trouble because I've been listening to it to the point where I knew I had a review already planned out in my head.   I had what they call in the professional wrestling business an "angle" and so I knew "Ok, this is what I'm going to write about" and I just had to put the proverbial pen to paper (Though now it is more like "fingers to keyboard") and, well, none of that is true (or is it?) I just knew I was going to make a Jim Carrey reference.    Still, get yourself lost in this cassette.   It is not as clear cut as other cassettes in being on a path from start to finish.    It goes all over the place and you just have to try and keep up.

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