Craft Spells
Idle Labor


4.0
excellent

Review

by sean q USER (24 Reviews)
April 17th, 2011 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I've been hoping, I've been praying for a girl like you to come around.

A friend of mine was recently explaining to me his theory on how music chronologically repeats itself in twenty year cycles. For example, in the 90's, we began to see a return to 70's punk influences in the form of grunge. With the beginning of a new decade, we are starting to see a reoccurrence of artists influenced by dream pop music of the late 80's. Just last year, we saw the twentieth anniversaries of The Cure's masterpiece Disintegration, as well as Cocteau Twin's Heaven or Las Vegas. Influences from both of these groups, along with many others from that era, are very evident throughout Craft Spell's debut album, Idle Labor. Like many bands signed to Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label, Craft Spells replicates a nostalgic and hazy rendition of 80's pop music (often slapped with one of the most horrid genre tags in recent memory, "chillwave"), while still managing to keep the music sounding somewhat fresh and authentic. Idle Labor is a well crafted pop album, that avoids beating the long dead horse of an overused, present-day dreamy brand of shoegaze.

Similar to their peers (Wild Nothing, Minks, etc.), Craft Spells has a large nostalgia factor to it that makes it very accessible to any fan of the genre, whether it be bands twenty years prior to it's release, or modern day "chillwave" bands. The disgustingly infectious second track on the album, Scandinavian Crush, exhibits this property perfectly. The track has an overwhelmingly catchy dance beat buried beneath cloudy and jangly Johnny Marr guitar chords, with lyrics dealing with the happier aspects of falling in love that would definitely not seem out of place on The Head On The Door. The lyrical aspect of the album is certainly one of the albums strongest points, which I find evident on my personal favorite track from the album, Your Tomb. As far as atmosphere goes, the song does not represent the rest of the record at all, with songwriting that compares a breakup to bringing a significant other into their resting place. Lyrics such as "I'll throw a rose / to celebrate your end / but when you rise from the dead I'll love you again" depict a scenario that many actively dating males can relate to. Love and social dormance are recurring themes throughout the lyrics, which is to be expected. But to be realistic, amidst all of Idle Labor's influences, Craft Spells is in essence, nothing new at all; and due to the recent emergence of "chillwave", is basically outdated twice-fold. Which I mean in the absolute best way possible, as Idle Labor in no way sounds like a dead genre begining to disintegrate (pun intended), like so many modern bands make it feel. The penultimate track, You Should Close The Door, sublimely flaunts Craft Spell's ability to keep The Cure's synthesizers, Johnny Marr's guitars, and generic chord progressions catchy and refreshing. Despite being weighed down by some of the more sub-par and redundant tracks on the album such as The Fog Rose High and Party Talk (which happens to be the lead single), Craft Spells created a fresh and promising debut that shows us that its genre is far from mortality.



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Shrapnel94
April 17th 2011


2213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First review in a very long time, hopefully I can get back into this.

BallsToTheWall
April 17th 2011


44786 Comments


Good review. Jamming to From the Morning Heat now and I like it. Very mellow.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

MalleusMaleficarum
April 17th 2011


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man, I love this album.

After the Moment, despite all its straight forwardness, is great.

DoubtGin
April 17th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

will listen to this today

sounds like an interesting album

shazwagon
April 20th 2011


84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard this last night and was swinging to it without knowing I was.

MalleusMaleficarum
April 22nd 2011


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first two tracks are so damn good.

Album is a gem of sorts.

lancebramsay
April 27th 2011


1585 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Dang I was meaning to get around to a review for this.
Now I dont have to - album is some good stuff.

CarterVance
June 19th 2011


37 Comments


Liked the first two tracks, but it kinda lost me after that.

That said, excellent review!

MutnikSpusic
October 25th 2011


560 Comments


there are three tracks on this, which are some of the best stuff i've ever heard

MalleusMaleficarum
December 5th 2011


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love it love it love it

MalleusMaleficarum
December 31st 2011


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not enough fellating of this album around here,

whats wrong with you people

MalleusMaleficarum
April 12th 2012


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

serious lack of attention going on here

AnimalsAsSummit
January 4th 2014


911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great shit. I get major The Cure vibes but then a hint of something else. About to dl

Digging: Ott - Skylon

MalleusMaleficarum
January 4th 2014


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dat melody

AnimalsAsSummit
January 4th 2014


911 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album art looks so much like Power, Corruption, & Lies that it makes me fart

cassmi
February 27th 2014


1 Comments


Sorry but just too generic for me.

MalleusMaleficarum
February 27th 2014


14368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"sorry" he says

jtswope
June 15th 2014


2435 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah that cover and some of the music is New Order worship… in a good way of course.



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