Crunchy - Loserville (2007) Mar 3, 2011 1:47:39 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Mar 3, 2011 1:47:39 GMT -5
Loserville may just be the best album released in 2007.
If it's not, it's right up there.
OK, show of hands - who's heard of Crunchy? OK, no one. (Wait - you in the back, is your hand up? Oh, you were just stretching? All-righty then.)
How about the Galactic Cowboys? That's a little better, there are a couple hands up now, along with some rather nonplussed looks on a lot of faces.
Well, regardless, Crunchy is Monty Colvin's band. Actually, it's pretty much Monty and a drummer (this time out it's Bill Evans). Monty Colvin is the former Galactic Cowboy who wrote or co-wrote a majority of that band's material - some amazingly creative material at that (I cannot recommend Space In Your Face or At the End of the Day highly enough).
The first Crunchy album, All Day Sucker, was a slight departure for Colvin - focusing on the Punky Power Pop that sporadically appeared on the final three Galactic Cowboys albums. It was good (occasionally very good), but lacked that fifth Metal gear that the Cowboys shifted into so often (with phenomenal results). The second Crunchy album, 2003's Clown School Dropout, was a little more Cowboy-like, and featured a stronger batch of songs than the debut. Good stuff all around. And then in 2007 Colvin unleashed the beast - Loserville.
Fans of the Galactic Cowboys would find all sorts of great songs to rally around on Loserville, but without a label deal or significant distribution the album kind of flew under the radar.
Which is criminal. The album is freaking brilliant!
Colvin found the right drummer to help him bring his songs to life. Bill Evans plays a lot like the Cowboys Alan Doss (and, like Doss, Evans was involved in the production side of the album as he mixed it), but this isn't a case of trying to clone the previous band - it's just the right style for these songs.
With the 1-2 punch opening of, "We Don't Fit In," and, "Freakboy," it's clear that Colvin's quirky sense of humor will be on display throughout the album. Sure, the songs are powerful, heavy, riffy, melodic, and a lot of fun, but there's a lot going on lyrically on the album, too. Loserville is an album that deals with alienation and being the odd man out (especially with the girls). "We Don't Fit In," says it all - Monty addresses the feelings that a lot of kids have while growing up, feelings that don't always go away in early adulthood.
Don't get the wrong idea, though,. The album has a whimsical side, too, and that's what keeps the whole thing somewhat lighthearted. It's a fun album, despite the lyrics about not fitting in (and a relationship - real or imagined - as it develops from flirtation to a less than happy ending). Hell, at times it's fun because of those lyrics. The way Colvin gets his point across and tells the story of this guy in Loserville is clever and extremely witty.
Musically, the album has a blend of styles that ranges from the Metallica/Megadeth/Anthrax school of thrash to the Ramones school of Pop Punk to all out Power Pop influences - and sometimes all of those in the same song! And amidst all the crunching (pun intended) guitars are some fantastic vocal harmonies (a trademark of the Galactic Cowboys) that would make the Beatles or Crosby Stills & Nash proud. No one will ever confuse Colvin with Ronnie James Dio or Bruce Dickinson when it comes to singing, but then again, those guys are (were) no Monty Colvin, either. Colvin's got a quirky vocal style that's not all that far removed from Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong or even Billy Corgan, only infinitely more listenable and fun.
So what about the individual songs? Jeez, there isn't a clunker in the bunch. From the previously mentioned steamrolling opener, "We Don't Fit In," to the closing track, the rowdy, "The Outcasts," (a rallying cry of sorts), Loserville is one strong, strong album filled with great tracks. "Call it a Crush," is a great Power Pop Power Ballad delivered with bombast (and some great vocal hooks and harmonies). "Love, Inc.," is a great straightfoward Pop song delivered with the power of an 80's L.A. Metal band and an almost Nine Inch Nails-esque delivery (up to the pre-chorus, at which point the song goes full blown Power Pop). Freaking brilliant!
"Drug of Choice," is darker and moodier, but still a great track (one that grows on you - like fungus). "Rip it Like a Band-Aid," is thrashy and punky, and just a burst of energy. "Aftertaste," features some more great hooks and melodies among the heavy riffs - hell, like I said, the whole album is good. Most of it is great.
Not everyone will like Loserville, but that doesn't speak to the quality of the album, but more to the nature of the musical tastes of the masses.
If the Galactic Cowboys' Space in your Face and At the End of the Day albums are, "Must have," albums for fans of that group then Loserville is the next to be added to that list. It's that damned good. (I keep saying that, don't I? I love this album...)
If you want to try something different, and something really good, then Crunchy's Loserville is a great CD to start with.
(It's available through www.montycolvin.net .)