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Album Review: Crumb – Jinx

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Best Songs: Ghostride, The Letter

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First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. Crumb has had an unbelievable stretch of success, especially since the band has remained unsigned since its inception. While attending Tufts University in Boston, the band came to fruition in 2016. The members were learning various programs of study including computer and cognitive science, psychology, and music. Coming from varying personal musical backgrounds, the group was comprised of musicians who were into jazz, soul, and rock. Soon after coming together, Crumb was formed and they worked on songs that lead singer and guitarist Lily Ramani had written. 

In 2016, their first release was a self-titled single which contained three tracks. Their second was an EP titled Locket, which had four songs and was released the next year. Now, almost two years later, the group has released a full-length, double-sided album titled Jinx. It is important for me to inform you that their most popular song has 11 million streams on Spotify and the band’s music has created somewhat of a cult following among listeners who like to partake in getting trippy with hallucinogens. It makes for a surreal and euphoric journey…according to them. I am in no way urging you to take part in that experience!

With all that being said, I was not a fan of this release. Yeah, there are some favorable qualities and segments to some of the songs, but they are few and far between and not enough to pique my interest.

I was first introduced to the group during my DJ days two semesters ago when I played a track from their EP. I wasn’t really into it then but I felt it was a good filler and it sounded like a song that some people would gravitate to. 

To me, Jinx sounds just plain lazy and unorganized. It’s almost as if not a lot of thought went into it but I’m pretty sure that’s the point of it. They try to arrange unconventionally and hats off to that, but the rhythm section sounds like joke riffing – as if the guitarist was fooling around with some funny lick and wanted to show his companions something amusing. 

It’s just an unmemorable piece of work in my not-so-important opinion. Crumb is dead set on taking the listener to a specific place in their consciousness but I’m not liking the destination I find myself in. 

I did like the guitars in Ghostride. The parts were unorthodox but seemed to flow better than the rest of the songs. The chorus was very rich with a multitude of tones containing high, yet subtle vocals. I also took to The Letter. It had a spooky sounding guitar tandem that frolicked about in minor. The bass traced the steps of the guitars eloquently and added a solid backbone to the track. 

Well folks, I hope you don’t find this review too offensive, though this was more of a look into the history of the band rather than a full-on review. After all, this is just MY opinion. I’m sure I would get tarred and feathered among the multitude of fans this band has worked hard to acquire. Though I’m shaming this release, I do urge you to take a listen to it. Objectively speaking, it has potential and could be considered a masterpiece to some since it seems to be out of the ordinary. Any band that self-releases something and has built success deserves a listen.

– Justin Capoccia

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