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-  Label: 'Self-Released (Bandcamp)'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: 'July 2017'

Our Rating:
I came to this one pretty late as a by-product of reviewing the Dead Rider album a few weeks ago and I thought it would be worth a quick mention seeing as both albums were being worked on simultaneously by Todd Rittman and Sacha Mullin sings on the "Crew Licks" album.

The first thing to point out is that there are absolutely no similarities between the two albums! The second thing is that it is very difficult to pin down just what sort of album this is. A lot of the other reviews of it refer to 80s pop and that may be a fair assessment but I don't altogether agree with their specific comparisons.

If I was going to pull a name out of the hat from that era it would have to be David Sylvian but he is (still) a very modern artist and "Duplex" is likewise a very modern piece. A contemporary launch pad might be Antony Hegarty?

The drums and electronic production on this album sound a lot more up to date and not really eighties to these tired and half deaf ears. Sacha has a background in avant-garde music and those influences are definitely to the fore but I can also hear a baroque pop palette as well. The use of piano on "Dream Ain't Dead" being an example of this.

Older influences might include the likes of Harry Nilsson. This is a lyrically dense album so it might take a lot of listens to fully appreciate (lyrics available on Bandcamp) and I keep going back to tracks like "Applejack" for a greater understanding.

Shorter tracks like "White Hot Room" and "Accept Treasure" with their relatively minimal arrangements, also work really well. So much crammed into two and a half minute pop songs, it is really quite impressive. It seems there is something quite strange and lovely in the Chicago water at this moment in time and W&H will keep you posted.
  author: Leo Newbiggin

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