Some of the best albums are the kind you can drop the needle, drop the lights, and just get lost in the lush harmonies, melodic guitars, and powerful drums. The lyrics are are as deep as an ocean, thick with artistic metaphors that connect with the listener on a personal level, and shares the subjects pain, joy, victories and defeats. Every song is an experience, a journey, and comes full circle as the needle lifts from the dead wax.
Crunch is not one of those albums.
Instead Crunch is fantastic for the exact opposite reasons. Eureka California’s sophomore LP is a fast double helping dose of punk influenced power pop. The fuzz infusion sound comes courtesy of Jake Ward and drummer Marie A. Uhle.
While the minimalist rock sound provides the back bone for all the tracks, each song has plenty of catchy as hell hooks and slacker voiced melodies. Ward’s vocals fit the sound so well, and its hard to figure out if he is driving the melody or the guitars. Either way tracks like “This Aint No A Side” and “No Mas” have power punch progressions that are to bound to find their way on your permanent play list.
Perhaps the best part about Crunch is how serious and cavalier it is at the same time. The music keeps the loose slacker vibe, but is executed with precision, never missing a beat. Ward’s vocals provide a healthy dose of “don’t give a fuck” and the lyrics range from slightly obscure to hilarious.
Straying a bit from the formula is the albums finest track “Art Is Hard.” Lyrically deeper, and more intense that than any song on the track, it is also the most personal. However, it fits well with the LP and the vibe is not lost.
Crunch is one of those great albums you just turn on and jam out. Don’t think too deep about it. Sing along, smile and laugh, rock out and repeat.
Staying with Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records, the band opted for a full dose of vinyl goodness. Pressed on standard weight red wax, the album includes a download card, full lyric sheet, and full color jacket. Also included in the deluxe version is a 33 1/3 mini- book about the band. You can pick up a copy from your local independent record store or directly from the HHBTM website.