Crystal Soda Cream
Work & Velocity [LP; Totally Wired]

Crystal Soda Cream don’t sound like The Cure, they sound AS IF The Cure, and have one of the best band names in rock history (in my humble estimation). That may seem a simple feat, until you try and do it yourself. Nailing the salient elements of R. Smith and the gang takes dedication, and CSC possess that in spades, along with the ability to pretty much do anything they want within that specific space. Work & Velocity comes three years after the last LP, and while it isn’t hitting me as hard as 2013’s Escape From Vienna, I get the feeling it’s me, not them. They managed a collection of songs here that provides plenty of worthwhile moments to freeze in your mind if you need to feel the post-punk coursing through your brittle veins. I guess I just don’t personally need that right now. But I know that when I come around, gift-wrapped numbers like “September” will be there to break my fall like a dozen mattresses and hundreds of silk pillows, all goth-black, of course. It’s (along with “Expedition Corps” and its lilting tempo, lyrical guitar lines) the perfect offering if you enjoy what Crystal Soda Cream get down to, complete with addictive echo-guitar in the intro, an earwig of a synth line, tom tom-led verses that kick out the clutter for a breakdown-ish feel, and a wordless chorus that soars above all without even trying. And that’s the point, I suppose. Despite my reservations (which I’ve done a rather poor job of explaining/defending/rationalizing), Crystal Soda Cream turn effortlessness into an artform, cranking out seamless track after seamless track without breaking a sweat, and because of that it’s easy to neglect the gravity of what they’re accomplishing with each atmospheric stab of guitar and energetic rumble of drums. Work & Velocity also is commercially viable in a strange, sinister way; if CSC ever got a break and a few influential backers they could probably crack the top-20, which I genuinely can say for about 10 percent of the bands I review in the hallowed web-pages of Cerberus. It’s not a potential to be taken lightly. Friends of mine had a band years ago and they made fun of this group that opened for them; next thing they knew, that act was headlining tours and running circles around my confused colleagues. Yeah, that’s what you get for turning your back on a band that has that intangible IT, an IT I can say with surety Crystal Soda Cream posses. As this seems to be the most confusing, confounding review I’ve ever written, I’ll shut things down, but not before giving you one last tip: Give this beverage a sip (YouTube link below) and see how it hits you before assuming you know anything.

Links: Totally Wired


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