During this new year I’ve decided to rekindle my love for music. Long story short there will be a lot more music features here on the site which leads me to an album review of the Los Angeles dream-pop band Crescendo‘s second release, Unless. You may remember that I interviewed and shot them for a feature about a year and a half ago. Since then there have been lineup changes, lead singer Gregory created a festival called Dream Gaze, and they are about to embark on a new tour. What a difference a short time makes. While the album doesn’t come out until tomorrow (2/19), I’ve decided to review the album track by track and the asterisks denote my personal faves on the record.
intro– I think that introduction tracks to albums are so underrated and never really utilized like they should be. This is an example of using a simple instrumental to invite you into this sophomore release.
*repulsor– the lead track from the album is a nod to the crispy uptempo sound that I love from this band. The female vocal sound just blends in and adds another dimension to the group. Good lead single.
*tell– ok this is my favorite song on the album. Immediately there is a growth in the story of Crescendo that you just know is going to be on this album. Exciting is a perfect word that I would use to describe it. Put me in an indie film now please.
*last– this was the last track to be added to my favorites pile. After a second listen this song is designed to pull you up and out of the clouds with the quicker pace that is sort of the anti-thesis of the genre itself. Whether or not it’s singer Gregory Cole’s intention, he has some influence of the punk genre that can’t be ignored even with the fuzzy lo-fi world he creates.
haunted– this really has one of the most straightforward song titles. The vocal is simply haunting.
said-This easily could be featured in an indie film, much like how most of the album reads like a audio version of a photo album of someones life. The fade out leaves something to the imagination.
the morning sonata– the dialogue of the Twilight Zone serves as a window into the frontman’s head and the album tone itself.
space cadet– A celestial fantasy dream sequence seems perfect in mind for a midway point.
*pressure– with guest vocals by Surf Club’s Frankie Soto, this is a second single standout that almost requires a music video.
*transformer– Still within the confines of the crispy lo-fi sound, this sits in the album nicely.
*yet– It’s like living in a perpetual dreamland state. Almost like when you get lost on a road and the sense of adventure takes over. You realize that it’s all just going to work out. This is song is a movie montage in your own life.
*softly– to close out the album; female vocals ring in ‘softly’
This album is a great second release for a young band. The Los Angeles trio has been in their current lineup just under a year but the quick fast structure of a dream gaze rooted in European garage rock is certainly a new sound that doesn’t come around often.
Gregory Cole – Vox & Guitar
Olive Kimoto – Vox & Synths
Jess Rojas – Vox & Lead Guitar
photography by Jorge Meza
Catch them this year at SXSW and head to their Facebook for more info on the band!