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“DD Review: IAN SWEET – Crush Crusher.”

Score: 7.5/10

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I probably should like Crush Crusher from LA’s IAN SWEET (via Brooklyn) more than I do. The influences she lists on the Bandcamp page for this album, after all, are basically hand-picked out of my choice basket – Bjork, Dirty Projectors and Deerhunter (especially astounding since none of these artists are necessarily stylistically SIMILAR to each other).

I found SWEET to even sound like Bjork in vocal on the beginning of “Question it” which follows the tense miasma of soft, textural guitar dissonance that is centerpiece “Bug Museum” (named after an actual place in Washington State, believe it or not). Dirty Projectors I don’t really necessarily hear (which certainly could be part of this LP’s problem) – it’s nowhere near weird enough, that is to say, and no that titular reference to a “bug museum” is not enough to tip it over the “weird” edge in the Dolby Disaster world. The Deerhunter parallel would be obvious what with producer Gabe Wax having worked on Monomania, the last listenable Deerhunter album.

But I mean it’s Snow Patrol on Snow Patrol. It’s Glasser on Glasser. For all its fairly diverse instrumentation, creative chord progressions (of which Bandcamp to its does precociously take note) and genuine, offbeat lyricism, this is the type of music that killed indie, these sorts of controlled, four-minute songs that are so sure and snug in their left liberal righteousness. The only thing SWEET seems to be mourning here is some relationship which from the way it sounds on Bandcamp SHE ended anyway. And I mean that’s real and whatnot, but it’s starting to come together to me to an extent, with how ribaldly “cool” this girl’s influences are (I mean doesn’t she ever wanna rock out to Jagged Little Pill and throw darts and her exboyfriend or something), how measured and stately the vocal performances are and how devoid this album is of any sort of human FLAW, how indie never really SPOKE to the masses, and that’s what killed it. We’re way past the days of Iraq War catharsis, which in my opinion was a primary impetus behind the primary indie boom of the ’00s and a couple good punk records (Anti-Flag, Green Day, Suicide Machines, Bad Religion). Sure, I’m listening to this music for free so I have no right to be bit**ing but good enough isn’t good enough anymore. When this music is good, as in “Spit,” “Bug Museum” and to an extent all of its side a constituents, it’s good more on a theoretical level than a gut one, and it’s way too sterile to change the game at this point, especially seeing as it sounds basically exactly like a Snow Patrol record.

 

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