As a producer and drummer, Dan Dorhan has partnered with the likes of Maggie Rogers, L. Martin, and Nick Hakim. As a solo artist, Dan has a large catalog of music under his belt; though his Spotify profile only features three singles and his latest album, the artist’s Bandcamp page is packed with EPs, albums, and singles. But Dan identifies as more than a musician; also working with visuals, his creative motif, both visually and audibly, is chaotic yet controlled. You’re A Crusher’s cover art is intentionally messy, filled with grain, and teeming with noise. The same can be said for the album’s songs. Each track is spackled with tight drums, their erratic behavior amplified by influences like math rock, jazz, and vintage-tinged electronic music. It’s hard to tell if You’re A Crusher’s chaos–both in overall flow and individual track–is offputting or endearing, and perhaps that’s the point.
Kicking off with “Leave It Loading,” Dan’s drumming establishes itself as the project’s predominant sound. The track is repetitive but remains exciting as looping synth and groovy bass dance alongside Dan’s drumming; it’s simultaneously trancelike and anxious, similar to “We Like to See (Earth),” where Dan’s drums are almost hypnotic as manipulated vocals shake in the background. Later, on the title track, vocals show up again but in a more direct fashion, with Dan’s singing less contorted than the vocal features on other tracks. It’s a solitary shift in approach that feels out of place. Although five people are credited with singing on You’re A Crusher / drocan!, every song that features them, besides the title track, has buried their vocals under distortion and manipulation. Dan used the human voice as accents rather than features on most entries, making the title track’s approach a confusingly disjointed choice.
You’re A Crusher / drocan! is hard to define. Though some genres can be identified over the album’s fifteen songs, the project in its entirety is a pleasantly confusing mix of sounds. “Strength” is the best example of Dan’s wild mixture; the intro is bright and glistening so it almost sounds like a SOPHIE track, then acoustic guitar suddenly jumps in, making you think of 100 Gecs’ genre-crushing debut. Making sense of the album becomes harder when considering its value as a complete project versus its value broken down by song. The tracks are interesting but often feel too short, too similar, and occasionally too underdeveloped to become fully invested in them. Still, Dan’s skill as a musician is obvious. With some songs standing out as particularly impressive shows of composition and experimentation, You’re a Crusher’s weaker moments become less conspicuous. Though it would have benefited from more focused execution, You’re A Crusher / drocan! stands as an engagingly unique album.