Album Review: The Crush – Future Blimps

The Crush - Future BlimpsThe Crush – Future Blimps
(self-released, 2014)

Power pop trio the Crush first appeared on the Seattle scene sometime in 2013. They had the energy, enthusiasm, Kinks covers and cool guitars (Rickenbacker 360 and Danelectro Longhorn bass!!!) to quickly gain a loyal local following. The Crush’s first EP, Future Blimps, shows that they have the sound and songs to win over fans from further afield. Opener “Never Gonna Stop” is a party-ready tune built around Jacob Thiede’s rousing guitar riff and Daniel Cutting’s spot-on drumming. Songs like “Around” and “It’s Love” are equally bouncy, entirely enjoyable jangle pop workouts.

While the term “power pop” can evoke the melodic sweetness of bands like Badfinger, the Raspberries, and the Romantics, the Crush have a bit more hard rock crunch in their sound.  Future Blimps reminds me more of the rad ’70s simplicity of Suzi Quatro, the Runaways, and classic KISS (when they were trying) than it does the Posies, and that’s one of the EP’s (and the band’s) strengths. The songs are refreshingly unencumbered by the delicate adornments of latter day power pop devotees like Matthew Sweet, Mazarin and the (better than you’ll give them credit for) Gin Blossoms. Not that there’s anything wrong with the refinement of the aforementioned bands (when it works, it’s majestic), but the Crush manage to rock along happily without it. There’s nothing studied, academic, or unnecessary in their music. Kira Wilson’s fresh vocals and the band’s youthful bashing carry the songs through familiar, yet ever-awesome musical territory. Future Blimps is cute without being cutesy and raw without being self-consciously Garage-y.

Recorded at venerable Ball of Waxer Colin J. Nelson’s Her Car studio in Fremont, Future Blimps should be your go-to party-starting/sustaining music of the summer, and the Crush should be at the top of your list of fun local live bands to check out. In fact, Seattleites can catch the Crush with my band, Virgin of the Birds, this Saturday night, July 12th, along with veteran fuzz rockers Black Nite Crash at the Blue Moon.

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