The Crash Years

In Search Of Better Places EP

Written by: TL on 08/10/2015 14:53:19

The young Georgia band The Crash Years showed some measures of promise last year with the release of the EP "Cope", which cast them with a similar sound to the early records of bands like Something Corporate and The Rocket Summer, particularly because they relied more on conventional piano melodies rather than guitar riffs. This year they have come back with a new EP, however, called "In Search Of Better Places", and on here you feel both that the band has wanted to go for more of a full-band, guitar-based sound, and that they're trying to set a mood that looks forward a bit more and wallows a bit less.

Regrettably though, the result is not quite as promising or memorable as the previous release. This perhaps also has something to do with the self-released EP's somewhat flat production, but even so, the kind of guitar playing you can find here is a bit too tame and neat for the most part. Not that "Cope" was characterised by particularly ingenious riffs from neither the piano nor the guitar, but on there it framed frontman Joel Cox's yearning lyrical reflections a bit more dramatically. Here the movements lean a bit toward something you feel like you've heard a million times before from "safe" radio acts like One Republic or such, and you get the impression that the songcrafting has been sort of a routine job, deploying trusty methods to piece something together that Cox could sing his heart out over. On his part, Cox sings as well as before, still thriving on having a raspy, youthful tone of voice that puts him in the exclusive company of the singers of the bands already referenced. His melodies are just not as striking this time around, with the one exception being in the single "Never Really Needed You", which, despite its meandering tempo, gets sort of evocative when it gets going.

Really though, The Crash Years' sound has only developed by a slight nuance here on "In Search Of Better Places", and the truth of the matter is likely simple: Namely that the band seemed more exciting despite their somewhat conservative style, on the release where they had the better hooks. "The One" and "Relentless" simply had better impact moments in them than any of the songs on "In Search Of Better Places", and so long as The Crash Years aren't trying to do anything more unique with their atmospheres or riffs, hooks really are the currency they live and die by. There's still a talent for pleasant sounding and well-flowing music in these guys, but they need to get more ambitious in terms of both songwriting and production, otherwise it looks like a bit of a slide into mediocrity for them.

Download: Never Needed You
For The Fans Of: Andrew McMahon, The Rocket Summer, Mae, Lydia

Release date 22.09.2015

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