Review Summary: Consummate.
How often does one really hear an album that seems to attack from every angle? An abrasive aural assault fuelled by raucous riffs and strident screams, eschewing excessive discord by complementing its rough sound with equal parts of quirky guitar licks and soft, slow-brewing crescendos of emotive yet fleeting hope; quick-fretted guitars that are equally competent in churning out thunderous chord-driven breakdowns; robust basslines that are as prominently featured as they are content to underpin the rest of the band’s sound; as well as a blusterous rhythm section whose almost visceral technique is made comprehensible by a penchant for technical death metal as well as a foundation in jazz – in fact, it seems like the only opposites of the sonic spectrum that Crocus’ debut LP Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust
doesn’t touch are a crisp sound and lo-fi production. For a hardcore band, Crocus only conforms to the confines of the genre insofar as they regularly employ dissonance, feature unrestrained and merciless drumming, and have a vocalist whose most obvious influence derives from Alpinist’s trio of vocalists. Aside from that, the guitar and bass tones owe as much to metalcore demigods Botch as they do to jazz and melodious post-hardcore tweedlers The Fall of Troy. The brief respites between the chord-heavy riffs in the opening forty seconds of “All of You” are interspersed with quick and ornate guitar riffs and rumbling bass runs, and the ensuing riff seems almost ripped directly from The Fall of Troy’s catalog. The apparent homage is continuously expressed throughout the album, with a lot of the music rooted in technical and colorful melodies, but simultaneously boisterous, slowly ripening before the chaos is almost bursting at the seams, ready to attack the listener with apocalyptic intensity.
It’s almost a surprise that Our Memories
turned out so well, given the band’s tumultuous journey to releasing it, which included a major line-up overhaul just as work on the album began as well as numerous delays in mastering and releasing the LP. As disparaging as the loss of two of the band’s four core members must have been, the remaining members had no trouble finding more-than-capable replacements, evidently for the best. Each of the band’s members consistently displays striking technical proficiency, including bassist Lewis Kirton, whose funky bassline on “You Don’t Belong” – just as the song approaches a somnolent cadence by fading out, pausing but an instant before billowing into the track’s almost bloodthirsty denouement – is one of the most fun and standout bass runs in recent memory. And drummer Jake Cooke’s talent is undeniable; his patterns are perpetually unpredictable, and complement the rest of the band without ever really stealing the show. For such a young band, it’s amazing how well Crocus plays hardcore, demonstrating copious amounts of talent as well as a maturity and an industrious determination (despite writing, recording, and mixing the album, the band has been touring almost non-stop for over a year) that can only spell good things for their future. And with a concise 23 minute debut that is so thorough in its presentation, it is clear that Crocus is not only aware of many of the traps that befall bands who oversaturate their albums with filler and unnecessary tracks, but it seems that the group knows just how to circumnavigate these hazards to craft a stellar album, and they’ve done it with Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust
. And their eclectic sound, diligence, and acute understanding of good music suggest that they’ll do it again. Watch out for these guys.