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Album Review: Ice Melt by Crumb

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Crumb is an indie rock band from Brooklyn. They first caught my attention with their debut project, Jinx which I reviewed and ranked it in my top ten albums of the year. Since I was so captivated by that project, I knew I had to check out what they had to release for their sophomore release. To be honest, since my expectations were so high from their debut album, this may have had a negative impact on how I perceived this album, Ice Melt.

The first track from the album is Up & Down. It opens up quietly with some distorted sound. As it gets louder, it sounds like some brass instrument. It eventually quiets down and we get some familiar, but also different instrumentals from them. The vocals seem a bit more polished and cleaned up, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was surprised to hear a more produced/put-together track form them. Other than that, she seems to be talking about how this person is just all over the place and their feelings change.

BNR is a bit more familiar in taste with the drumkit and glitzy guitar parts. The vocals also seem to be a bit more normal on this one which is nice to hear. I also love the reverb and echo that is thrown into this track during the chorus, just to make it that more mysterious and spaced out. The guitar part before the chorus is a strange addition, but this is a favorite track of mine. Other than that, not too sure what this track is supposed to mean, even though BNR stands for "black and red."

Seeds is definitely one of those more jazz-inspired tracks. It opens up with some easy going vocals wishing that she was a seed. Other than that, the track gets more distorted and reverbed towards the middle of the track. We also get a whole layer and walls of synths that just add to the volume of the track. I'm a bit disappointed that the layers just peel away towards the end, instead of just letting them go for the entirety of the track.

L.A. starts out differently than the previous track. It's a quick two minute track, but it opens up with several different weird sounds. It eventually fades and goes into the actual track, but a weird way to start it up. I can only assume that the title refers to the city of Los Angeles. It seems to talk about wanting to leave the city, which a lot of people have been. However, there's also the feeling of calling the city her home.

Gone opens up with some pre-recorded messages that seem to be from a spam call center. This track is just different enough for them at the beginning that it seems like a totally different band. The guitars just don't seem as pronounced as some of the other tracks, and act more as something that is just in the background, besides the louder guitar parts towards the end. We do get their regular jam that carries out to the end of the track. Digging into the lyrics, it seems like it's about a lady counting down her final days, and she isn't able to do as many things as she once used to.

Retreat! definitely sounds like something I would have heard off of Jinx. With the vocals and all of the different instrumentals thrown together at once. The only downside to this track is that it's the shortest on the album and is a minute and a half in length. On this track, she seems to be telling this person to run far away or back to the place they're from, since retreating is moving back. Other than that, it seems like a quick interlude track in the album.

Trophy is reusing some of the long drawn out synths we heard earlier in the album. However, I am definitely a sucker for that bass that comes in. Even if it's a simple bass line, it's one of the more noticeable things on this track, just because we haven't heard much from it before. The thing that turns me off though is the distorted vocal effect they put over her voice during the chorus. Since she has such a great voice, don't ruin it. It's just an annoying effect to use overall..

Balloon is definitely reminiscent of some indie pop tracks. I could definitely see some similarities between this and maybe a Chicano Batman track from their last album. We just have a loud and bouncy instrumental that just goes up and down melodically. We also get some overbearing synths that could also be reminiscent of M83. To top it off, we have a closing bass line. I just hear a lot of different influences on this track that just throw me off every time I listen to it.

Tunnel (all that you had) opens up with some simple ascending notes. Other than that, it cuts out quickly for some oddly tuned guitar and vocal part. The chords during the non singing parts are awesome, but for whatever reason, it just seems out of tune when the two of them are combined. However, my opinion of this track turns from okay to amazing with the last minute of this track. You just have this jam session that comes out of nowhere with some synths and guitars.

The final track we have on the album is the title track, Ice Melt. It's a bit anti climactic compared to the previous track, so I was a bit bummed by this one. Another easy opening track with your light guitar parts and the simple bass line. I do have to give credit on this track with the rhyme scheme. While it is a bit odd, she is pretty clever with the lyrics. The track just drones out with a synth and eventually fades into nothing.

Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: BNR, L.A., Tunnel (all that you had)
 
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