The four members of Crumb met at Tufts University in Boston a few years ago, forming as a vehicle for Lila Ramani’s songwriting. Two solid EPs later they hit with this self-released debut album Jinx, inspired by their meteoric rise, a near fatal car accident and the production sound of Arthur Verocai. At every turn on Jinx the crew churn out dazzling psych pop snacks without ever becoming predictable, and although we’re reminded of similarly cute and young bands like Barrie and Men I Trust, it’s clear that Crumb aren’t at all concerned with creating the perfect pop song. For every memorable riff or sugary vocal on Jinx, there’s a jazzy modulation / tempo change (“Part III”) or detuned synth buzzing like an angry wasp (“And It Never Ends”) to remind you how disorienting life really is. Lila’s gliding vocals on “Nina” and “Fall Down” vaguely recall Kevin Parker’s lackadaisical meanderings, albeit backed with more imaginative / less claustrophobic instrumentation. You could draw connections to Stereolab or Broadcast, but I honestly think Crumb are too young to have been inspired by (or rip off) those bands, so the results of their psych / jazz / pop stew are refreshingly original (“all of my heroes are people I know,” sings Ramani on “Faces”). A less European / more weeded version of Melody’s Echo Chamber, maybe. Check out “Ghostride” “M.R.” “Cracking,” “Jinx,” “Faces” and bonus track “Better” which you won’t find on digital versions of the album. Recommended.
- yellow colored vinyl
- includes exclusive bonus track 'Better'
- limited edition
- music label: Crumb Records 2019
reviewed by Isosceles Kramer 06/2019