steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Crix Crax Crux

"Camel & Needle" CDR

Frigital Records

Genres: lo-fi, experimental pop

Ben Moore
6633 Greenfern Lane
Jacksonville, FL 32277

Mar 28 - Apr 3 2005

Crix Crax Crux, already a fixture on the new lo-fi Frigital label, has a truly unique style - something not so common on today's diluted scene of GBV and Pavement followers.  These ten songs have a very full, large atmosphere, despite the home-produced nature of the record.  The press sheet's comparisons to The Walkmen and Spoon are fairly apt, though Ben Crix's style is still distinctly his own.  These songs' melodies are surprisingly effective, especially due to their unconventional delivery - Crix doesn't go for traditional pop song formula, but instead hides his hooks in unpredictable song structures and spacey blocks of sound.  If you give yourself time to adjust to the style, this record may really impress you.  At times, listening is as exhilarating as discovering Guided By Voices or Smog for the very first time.  You feel as if you've clued on to something great, something that everyone should listen to.  This record can, at times, be a bit pretentious and long-winded; the more experimental bits serve to create mood and add to the disc's very impressive whole - but they are not entirely necessary.  "Not At All" and "Threading It" are two of Crix's most inspired moments on this record - the first is a touching, echoey pop song with a very epic feel (it reminded me of A Silver Mt. Zion's "Movie (Never Made)"), while the latter is a trippy, expansive instrumental that you won't be able to resist.  Overall, this record drags at times - but there's just enough incredible lo-fi pop here to keep you listening for ages.  I dig.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]