Posts Tagged ‘crayon’

Crayon at Big Takeover

I never surmised that someone would remember Brick Factory 20 years after the fact, let alone epitomize it with a vinyl reissue. Crayon It’s nearly impossible to walk away from this one without an impression having been etched of some variety, thanks to Sea Tollefson’s tone-deaf yet endearing whine. Indeed, this dude’s uber-nerdy vocal aplomb was logically clad to Crayon’s underdog motifs, with his two companions co-frontman Brad Roberts and drummer Jeff Fell churning out a noisome and skuzzy lo-fi racket ala Eric’s Trip, or for that matter , a myriad of other period DIY miscreants. Even in today’s emo-friendly enviroment , the most empathetic of Millennials might find a demi-anthem such as “The Snap Tight Wars” a tad too confounding. Nevertheless, such a scenario is fine, given that enoughof us Gen-X’ers will warrant Brick returning to the market. By the way, the record is bundled with a download code for 20 extra non-LP tracks.

[Print edition]

Crayon at Razorcake

Crayon were an early ‘90s lo-fi twee punk band from Bellingham, Washington. They thrived on zine culture and shared the stage with Superchunk and the Melvins. HHBTM have lovingly reissued their album, Brick Factory, which has been out of print for years. Besides the LP, the download code also includes twenty-one extra songs from compilations and various singles. Upon my first spin, I am immediately struck by the similarities to Sebadoh. (The liner notes point out that Lou Barlow once “cited the album as one of his favorites of the year.”) The guitar playing is sparse and minimal, while the vocals are shrill and aggressive, like a disgruntled sixth-grader. Crayon only partially grew on me after repeat listens. Songs like “The Snap-Tight Wars” and “Reason 2600” are delightfully understated and sincere like scrappy Silkworm or Guided By Voices, but the amateurishness and high-pitched vocals verge on aggravating during “Hope in Every Train,” “Crown,” and “Knee-High Susan.” I suspect that if Crayon pushed onward then subsequent records would have featured more mature songwriting. As it is, Brick Factory is only for collectors of lo-fi indie punk of the ‘90s ilk. For everyone else, Crayon may leave you tickled but unsatisfied. –Sean Arenas

Back in 1993 I stumbled upon the indie pop scene via a late listening of the classic Unrest LP Imperial F.F.R.R. at Blacklist Mailorder. I was listening to Velocity Girl already, but something about that Unrest LP really affected me, and put me on the path to wanting to hear more bands that were in the genre. About a month or two later, I picked up the One Last Kiss compilation and was floored by the lineup. Crayon is on that comp, sandwiched between Tree Fort Angst and Jane Pow. I listened to that comp on a daily basis for most of the year, playing it for anyone who happened to visit me. I looked for material from all the bands on there that I liked. Crayon was definitely one of those bands. –Matt Average

Crayon at Performer

Crayon existed as a whisper, a rumor, a mysterious name on the wind for the past 20 years. It’s been that long since their only full-length, Brick Factory, was originally released on cassette and CD by Massachusetts label Harriet Records. Since then, it’s been heralded by indie icons like Dinosaur, Jr. But for years, actually tracking down a copy of the album proved fruitless (even digitally). My mom’s Mercury ate my Crayon cassette in the late ’90s, and it’s been that long since I had a chance to give this one a spin.

Thankfully, that’s all done – this lo-fi, Pavement-esque flash of noise-pop brilliance has finally been re-issued (on vinyl, no less!) by what’s quickly becoming our favorite label, HHBTM (Athens, GA).

How best to describe Crayon? It’s kinda punk, kinda twee, kinda off-kilter alt-pop. It’s a slice of the 1990s, in every sense possible. And it’s glorious. It’s the songs, dammit. The songs are great. It’s not just hazy textures and fuzzed-out guitars that go nowhere. There are meaningful melodies there (sometimes you gotta listen for them, but that’s just a product of the era). The fucking songs.

Spinning Crayon in 2015 is an instant trip back in time. Back to my high school bedroom. Back to the days when the Walkman ruled the world. Back to cramped teenage bedrooms overflowing with posters, VHS copies of Mallrats and that secret stash buried in your closet. Back to when you’d play your favorite records endlessly as you figured out what your life was going to be…

[Link]

Crayon at Performer

Crayon existed as a whisper, a rumor, a mysterious name on the wind for the past 20 years. It’s been that long since their only full-length, Brick Factory, was originally released on cassette and CD by Massachusetts label Harriet Records. Since then, it’s been heralded by indie icons like Dinosaur, Jr. But for years, actually tracking down a copy of the album proved fruitless (even digitally). My mom’s Mercury ate my Crayon cassette in the late ’90s, and it’s been that long since I had a chance to give this one a spin.

Thankfully, that’s all done – this lo-fi, Pavement-esque flash of noise-pop brilliance has finally been re-issued (on vinyl, no less!) by what’s quickly becoming our favorite label, HHBTM (Athens, GA).

How best to describe Crayon? It’s kinda punk, kinda twee, kinda off-kilter alt-pop. It’s a slice of the 1990s, in every sense possible. And it’s glorious. It’s the songs, dammit. The songs are great. It’s not just hazy textures and fuzzed-out guitars that go nowhere. There are meaningful melodies there (sometimes you gotta listen for them, but that’s just a product of the era). The fucking songs.

Spinning Crayon in 2015 is an instant trip back in time. Back to my high school bedroom. Back to the days when the Walkman ruled the world. Back to cramped teenage bedrooms overflowing with posters, VHS copies of Mallrats and that secret stash buried in your closet. Back to when you’d play your favorite records endlessly as you figured out what your life was going to be…

[Link]

Crayon at Maximum Rock and Roll

Click through to check out the top 10 lists.

[Link]

Crayon at The Finest Kiss

If I had done a best reissues of 2014 this long overdue reissue of Crayon‘s Brick Factory would have been near the top of it. Formed in the early 90’s in the sleepy college town of Bellingham, Washington, Crayon were equally influenced by the punk inspired grunge of Seattle and the punk inspired indiepop of Olympia. Bellingham is about 80 miles north of Seattle and 150 mile north of Olympia, but Crayon sounded like they were about right in the middle of both of those city’s well known aesthetics at the time.

The two styles juxtaposed with each other in the form of Crayon’s two singers. Guitarist Brad Roberts’ songs were the raw punk ones that sounded like a wounded Husker Du or Sebadoh(Brick Factory was one of Lou Barlow’s favorites records of 1994 as told to Spin). The other half of the songs were written and sung by bassist Sean Tollefson had a more twee feel that nodded to Beat Happening.

Most people lean to either Robert’s punk scrawl or Tollefson’s embryonic twee, but the accidental genius of Crayon was that they had the guts to combine them into one band and one album. Tollefson went on to form Tullycraft along with Crayon drummer Jeff Fell. Robertson seemed to disappear from the music universe along with the CD only release of Brick Factory that went out of print shortly after its release. Now for the first time ever Happy Happy Birthday To Me have reissued the album on vinyl. It comes with a bonus download of the band’s other 7-inch singles, compilations tracks, demos and live cuts. Twenty years later it still sounds unique and great.

Brick Factory is available from HHBTM mail order.

[Link]

Crayon at Maximum Rock n Roll

Twenty years after it’s original release HHBTM has reissued this album on vinyl for the first time. If you’ve heard of this band, you probably love them. But for the uninitiated out there, ask yourself this: do you cringe at the word “twee”? No? Okay, please continue reading. This is the album of your dreams if you wished the Pastels incorporated a little more grunge into their sound. It’s total bedroom indie pop, but a bit more fuzzed-out and distorted than you might expect. Not abrasive by any means – the whole album gives you that floating-on-a-cloud feeling. It’s cool, definitely a record well worth re-release.

 

Crayon at Magnet

There is some mysterious appeal about bands with short names and short track names. Either way, Crayon, from Bellingham, Wash., had that and more, and now the band has released “Small” for free download. Crayon’s music was a messy blend of punk and indie rock. There’s snotty vocals, reminiscent of the ’80s hardcore scene, and there’s also a strong grungy feel to it all. Download the track below.

Click through for the download.

[Link]

Crayon at Linear Tracking Lives!

This might be cheating a bit, but the above is my favorite album art from this year. You might be wondering how I could choose a cover from a piece of music that came out two decades ago. Well, back in the day, Crayon’s ‘Brick Factory’ was released via Harriet Records on CD and cassette… before quickly going out of print. HHBTM Records recently resurrected this lost treasure and gave it to us on vinyl for the first time ever. I don’t have to tell you it’s not only the music that’s better on wax. I love the blurred hustle and bustle attempting to envelop a couple that doesn’t seem to notice any of the other students. Is this where love begins? Anyway, that’s how I see it. I know nothing about the artist, but there were two names credited to the artwork on the original CD. So, I’ll thank George Pfromm II and Todd Christensen and hope that covers it. HHBTM pressed 500 copies, and the label is including 20 bonus tracks for download with purchase. It’s a twee/punk masterpiece.

[Link]

Crayon at Vinyl District

Such is not the case with the ’94 album from Bellingham, WA’s Crayon, Brick Factory given a long overdue reissue for the first time on LP this year by Happy Happy Birthday To Me. One of thousands of bands to emerge during the ‘90s indie boom, Crayon specialized in and at times nearly perfected a blend of twee pop and punk raucousness that was too powerful to ever be huge, but certainly should’ve been bigger, both then and hence.

Purchase of the vinyl adds a download of 21 stray cuts, but the meat of the matter is the original release, which hits a spot betwixt the sophisticated SpinART/Chickfactor-scene and the power boot of Kill Rock Stars.

[Link]