steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

63 Crayons

"Good People" CD

Happy Happy Birthday To Me

Genres: indie pop

P.O. Box 1035
Panama City, FL 32402

Aug 7 - 13 2004

Every band lists The Beatles as an influence, but few actually mean it.  Not so in this case.  63 Crayons, led by principal songwriter "Charlie Johnston" (it's actually John Lennon and Paul McCartney), craft cute and elaborate pop tunes peppered with Magical Mystery Tour bizarreness.

Of course, 63 Crayons spice things up a bit.  The simple, melodic charm remains intact, but various elements are added to the mix - faster tempos, female vocals, trademark indie pop xylophones... If you, like me, were first introduced to the band by their self-titled HHBTM EP, you'll no doubt be pleased to learn that Good People is just as hook-laden and melodic as its predecessor, only much more psychedelic and a bit more challenging to get into.

Good People's first noticeable quirk is the inclusion of a number of "freak-outs," short cacophonous interludes that sound entirely improvised.  These are neat spacers, though they add little to the album's overall appeal.  Interestingly, the most satisfying of 63 Crayons' songs are also the simplest.  "Song for my Sister" is fun, but may ultimately be too cluttered for some listeners, thus lacking the hummable catchiness it could otherwise have.  "Go Now April," on the other hand, is more conservative and minimal - as a result, its soft, 60s-style melody is quite infectious.  This simplistic approach is shared by the best of Good People's songs, including the psychy "Rocketship" and the cheery "Mice and Feathers."  On the other hand, the more cluttered "The Mold" is too busy to be fully enjoyed.

Despite its weak songs, though, 63 Crayons is far more good than bad, and should be enjoyed by fans of HHBTM, and indie poppers in general.  And it's only their first album!


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]