Imagine a supergroup, who truly defines the word “super,” recording an album in a 100 year old house.
Ok, now take away the zebra trench coat, bad hair and hideous glasses and crank the awesomeness to 11. Perhaps mold it out of musicians from Louis XIV, Muse, The Killers, Jamiroquai, The Mars Volta, Nine Inch Nails and Julian Casablancas.
Yep, you have yourself Vicky Cryer.
Now, be honest with yourself, this is the greatest supergroup since the Damn Yankees and there is no arguing that.
The combined instincts – I’d say talents, but face it, this kind of musical ability cannot be taught – of Jason Hill, Dominic Howard, Mark Stoermer, Nick Fyffe, Alex Carapetis and Dave Elitch come together in The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering and the resulting ten tracks are truly a gift from the musical gods.
The record comes to life with the carnal styling, fans of Louis XIV know well, before transitioning into a more somber, yet beautifully formulated, tale of being stuck on an unattainable love.
But fear not weary, emotionally sensitive friends, Vicky Cryer won’t bring you down. In fact, it starts off deeply lustful – which I am not surprised seeing as this is a Jason Hill led endeavor; in fact, so much so, if Vicky Cryer and Boots Electric were to tour together, you’d need a shot before you could go to make sure you don’t contract anything. The three lead off tracks (“Smut,” “Girls” and “Krokodil Tears”) do absolutely nothing to hide the funky lovin’ sound. And they do such a great job of crafting a move inducing sound that you’re sure to feel delightfully dirty listening to them.
In keeping with the heavy funk atmosphere, the record transitions into a vintage, almost disco, style that is twisted out over hot coals of modern electronic dance, formulating a perfect balance. “Touch You” and “Expensive Love,” with their bass heavy grooves, slip and slide in sultry style. Then surprisingly, in a Marc Bolan-esc move, “Young Love” holds tightly to a throwback raunchy grit; making it a fantastic track and the do-not-miss from The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering. By the end of the record, the sound becomes an almost reflective piece; far from the red-light intimate beginnings.
With skills that are so spectacular it could knock you out cold with its best Zoolander look, Vicky Cryer does a remarkable job playing to a cohesive, and most importantly original, sound. Each contributor brings a backstory most strive for but never obtain, but together they see a musical vision that is not just a bunch of styles converging in a battle for attention. It isn’t complicated, it is great music. The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering is clearly about music and does a brilliant job playing to just that.