Album Reviews

Crushed Out

Alien Ocean

Artist:     Crushed Out

Album:     Alien Ocean

Label:     Alien Ocean

Release Date:     09/30/2016


Don’t get the wrong idea. Crushed Out is not the second coming of the White Stripes, even if splashes of Jack and Meg’s DNA did happen to drop on Alien Ocean, the eclectic and charming third full-length record from the duo of Frankie Sunswept and Moselle Spiller. The distorted, effects-laden garage-rock crunch of ponderous, yet whimsical, nuggets “Love Howl” and “Big Woolly” might bring to mind White Blood Cells or Elephant, but the UV rays – as soft and mellow as can be – coming off the summery, languid pop resignation of “Ride The Tide,” “She is Gone Again” and “Rolling in the Moonshine” would blister and burn Whites’ pale skin terribly.

Working off a diverse palette that blends surf and Hawaiian sounds with a bit of country twang, some colorful psychedelia and a little taste of dark, tropical noir in “Tsunami,” Crushed Out breaks out the cabana wear for “Out of the Blue” and “Skinny Dippin’” – two oddly catchy tracks that’ll make you wonder whatever happened to Timbuk3. So will “Weekend Mohawk,” a funny little ditty with sunny, tight hooks that must freely fly its freak flag or die of stifled creativity. There are clean guitars on the multi-layered Alien Ocean, and there are those covered in fuzz, as well as a variety of old keyboard transmissions, lap steel bends, crisp drumming and glowing vocals expounding on everything from love and loneliness to the vagaries of human existence in thoughtful and often lighthearted lyrics. Taking a dip in Alien Ocean is refreshing.

-Peter Lindblad


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