steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

63 Crayons

"Spread The Love" CDEP

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie pop, psych-pop

PO Box 1035
Panama City, FL 32402

Feb 24 - Mar 2 2003

As the story goes, 63 Crayons was formed in 1999 by Charlie, who decided to record a few psychedelic pop numbers on a four-track borrowed from Suzanne.  Soon after, his friends Ben, Michelle, Marty, and Suzanne decided they wanted to help out, and thus the band was formed.  After a self-released EP, the Happy Happy Birthday To Me label became interested in their sound and asked them to record an EP for them.  Spread The Love was the result.

With each copy painstakingly hand-crayoned, Spread The Love is a decidedly lo-fi affair.  The recording quality is far from perfect, and the balance between the instruments and vocals is sometimes off, but altogether the sound is an endearing one, with the darling pop melodies coming through perfectly.

The EP starts off with "Take A Vacation," which is a jumpy, snappy tune that kind of sounds like a soundtrack to a peppy road-trip movie.  Its simple melody works its way into your brain quickly, and humming along is involuntary.  "Powerlines," perhaps the EP's best moment, follows immediately after.  Insanely infectious, the tune rolls by in a gust of happy-go-lucky keyboards, cute guitars, silly sound effects, and lovely vocals.  It's a happy, friendly tune that's sure to plant a smile on just about anyone's face.

"Emma Peel" and "Ben S. Pipes" then pass by in a kooky whirlwind of smiles, the latter of which is a playful tune that any indie pop fan would die for (think Olivia Tremor Control).  After this we're treated to "Cool Cat," a joyful instrumental filled with well-written guitar melodies and a nice psych-y feel.  "Blue and Red" then finishes it all off as a warm, hummable tune with some really nice female vocals.

Altogether, Spread The Love is a very promising EP that's really getting me excited about 63 Crayons' upcoming full-length.  Recommended for indie poppers and psychedelia fans alike.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]