Review Summary: A hard hitting and beautifully stunning debut record, all thanks to the talent of the band members, but also to the crowdfunding from the fans.
Jarrod Alonge has never been a stranger to working with music and crowdfunding, with his other projects such as Sunrise Skater Kids and Canadian Softball, so what happens when he gathers Lauren Babic and Tyson Dang of Red Handed Daniel on vocals and drums respectively (Tyson only appears in the music video to my knowledge, Jarrod programs all of the drums), as well as Patty Walters from As It Is on bass in order to put out his first serious effort into music, what could he possibly forge with these members by his side"
Something unexpected; we all know he had been fully capable of creativity, but it truly shines when he works with others. It also helps to know each song on this record is based off a film, for example, the lead single "Shinebox" is inspired by Goodfellas.
The record has a very cinematic, closed in feel from the very get-go with the spoken speech in "Reboot" which transitions seamlessly into "Fortune and Glory, Kid", refusing to pull any punches with Lauren's screamed vocals and the barrage of drums and backing vocals. Patty's bass playing is put to the test in songs such as "Nitroglycerin" and "Bastard from a Basket", the latter of which is borderline haunting with Jarrod's backing vocals being murmured under the noise.
Though, the band is just as unafraid of slowing down as they are of taking things up a notch. "Hannah" has strings that give the record a nice breather, though for the most part, not a lot happens in this song other than Lauren singing sweetly among what sounds like could be a film score. Fitting, right"
However, the song "Moloko Plus" shows the major con of this record. Garrett Russell of Silent Planet takes over this entire song - this is not a good thing. It hits hard with his strained, screamed vocals but soon after it has a two minute interlude that slows the album to a crawl, forcing you to wait for the build up when this upbringing should have been cut in half. I also find this to be an issue with "300 Pages", the interlude into the final track which seems to be placed on a loop for over two minutes. It makes you ache for it to be over as nothing truly happens despite how atmospheric it may seem. It only adds frustration, not anticipation.
Despite this con, CrazyEightyEight's members have all brought their own talents to the forefront of music; and while it is not the most unique piece of music in the scene at this moment, they have certainly added their own flare to it (Lauren even has a screamed rap verse in "Ian Hates Gretchen.)
This record was certainly worth the wait, and with just a little more of that, I'm sure this band could work out the kinks holding them back, if only slightly.
I Am Tetsuo
Bastard from a Basket
Tears In Rain
Ian Hates Gretchen
My Friends, You Bow to No One