They may have formed only three years ago but Crumb knows exactly the sound they are looking for. With their previous two EPs, they have placed themselves firmly in the freeform indie rock genre. A traditional college band through and through, they were originally founded in Boston. This mix mash of Brooklyn-based musicians banded together to bring life to Lila Ramani’s lyrics and Jinx is their most recent addition to their discography.
Jinx is the first full-length album from Crumb. It may only be 10 tracks long and 27 mins in length, but what it lacks in time, it doesn’t lack in dizzying and hypnotic melody. Their composure as a band is evident and after touring for 2 years, they now have a level of musical cohesiveness that is unusual in such a young band. Their extensive touring has given them time to create this album while making sure that it performs both through your earphones and on stage.
The hypnotic intro of “The Letter” pulls you straight into the twilight zone. Ramani’s voice is added, through a haze of repetitive melody. It’s the type of sound that acts as a trigger to take a breath and lower your shoulders. There is a feeling of foreboding but the drum line drags you through this comatose cloud. Things get a little psychedelic with the entry for the keyboard and borderline rock guitar line. Reminiscent of Hundred Water’s earlier music, “The Letter” is Crumb’s attempt at 60’s hypnotic psychedelic rock, where music is a metaphor and there is plenty of room for things to get a bit spacey.
When it comes to spacey, Crumb is able to take a spacey track and give it a sober meaning. On first listen, “Fall Down” is a depressive track that is much less Californian dreamin’ than the rest of the album. But with every new listen, it becomes this cacophony of sound, comprising of keyboard notes and a drum line, that is full of intent. Like a stream of consciousness, the drums keep it all together, while Ramani’s voice tries to work an influx of thoughts.
Most music creates imagery and emotion but Crumb goes one further. They create imagery, emotion and a sense of time. While Ramani’s voice is a mix of grunge and indie vocals, a pinpoint of the 2010’s on the ever-lengthening musical timeline, it’s the rest of the band that transports us back. They bring us to newly colored TV, a new wave of hope and straight into 60’s psychedelic indie rock. “Part III” is a perfect example of this. With the keyboard and guitar blinging in the background, while the bass walks us into a trance “Part III” is like falling down a hole. It is a journey through the ether, like a welcome release from the rules and expectations of today.
Bringing together indie rock and jazz, Jinx is a mix of hypnotic drum lines and hazy guitar lines. This combination creates smoothing pop and lazy summer emotional landscapes. Ramani’s lyrics bring a sense of anxiety and hopefulness, while the band’s music reels you into a sea of chill and calm making Jinx a soothing soundtrack for the summer.