The first word that comes to mind when trying to describe Crypts is “dirty.” Or “filthy,” or “grimy,” or how about just plain “fucking awesome.” I usually try and keep it classy on the internet, but as much as I have struggled with the words for this record, I drift around the first three words, but always come back to the first two.
So what specifically makes it so awesome? Because lots of things are awesome: paper planes, beer, sunrises, my old cat, Doctor Who.
A man who is wiser than I intimated once that we are destined to eternally love the music stylings we were exposed to between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Industrial and the meteoric rise of electronic music fall specifically in that wheelhouse for me, so I am an impartial reviewer, but hell, who isn’t? While I may be transitioning to more traditional rock ‘n’ roll as my 20s shrink in the rear view mirror, I have an incredibly soft spot for well done industrial.
Hey, guess what the Crypts fall into? I knew I was in trouble the moment that I read that the trio consisted of former These Arms Are Snakes front man Steve Snere, programmer Bryce Brown, and visual artist Nick Bartoletti. Again, the band has three members and one of them is a visual artist. A visual artist. Visual artist. Visual. Artist. I still don’t know how to wrap my brain around that.
But it doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter that in 34 minutes, Steve Snere joined the “What the Hell Are They Singing?” pantheon currently inhabited by Eddie Vedder on “Yellow Ledbetter” and Stevie Nicks on practically every song she sings. His tenor is bombastic at times like in “Smut” or digitally filtered in “Fancy” or “Bloods” but is made for this music. Plus, Brown’s melodies cover all of the pathos that I cannot decipher from lyrics, and he adds some of the dirtiest hip hop beats ever to cross over into a musical genre that usually bring up images of rivets, electrical tape and Trent Reznor. Sometimes all you need is a good producer.
“Filthy” or “fucking awesome,” this album is far from perfect, but its timing could not be better, as it was released this month on Sargent House. The carbon-scored darkness is perfect for the cold and grey winter, for turning in on inner demons, or as it turns out: getting in the zone and cranking out Excel spreadsheets. Put in your earbuds, get angry, and love yourself some Crypts this fall and winter.