by Kris Handel (@khandel84)
Crumb are a NY via Boston four-piece that live in the world of pop melodies, but with a hazy and disoriented psych-pop bearing that wobbles and pulses enchantingly along the way. They inject their music with spurts of lounge-ish jazz structures with a rhythm and swing that plays nicely with Lila Ramani’s vocals that weave around under the swirl, but demand attention themselves. Jinx is the first full-length following an EP, the ear catching and wonderfully dreamy Locket of two years ago, but with a fuller and more developed approach. Ramani proves herself to be a bit of a vocal powerhouse, despite her hushed delivery, and one possessed with tremendous versatility which works well with the flexible musical backing.
“Nina” bobs and weaves driven along by popping keyboard and lithe guitar lines that break through at just the right time as Ramani alternates between a breathy coo and assertive quick-fire lyrics. Crumb find a complete balance of their dance and psych impulses and Jesse Brotters prodding bass work intertwines nicely with everything else. Ramani’s guitar comes to the forefront in “Ghostride” as she shows quite an acumen playing with textures and effects that are particularly delightful. Crumb are also quite adept at the slow burner as seen with “MR,” riding airy keyboard/synths, provided by Brian Aronow, that drapes Ramani in atmospherics as the song simmers through its multi-dimensional grooves. The vocals come off as dreamlike throughout and the guitar provides nice sharp lines that puncture the billowing clouds of sound that accompany.
Jinx throws a lot of musical texture and colors at the listener throughout its relatively short duration but nothing is overcrowded or out of place which deserves applause. Everyone involved has an important role to play in the kaleidoscopic sounds that Crumb provide and they fill the space with intriguing melodies and ability to change directions on a whim. The way everyone works around each other creates layers and layers of sound that remains crisp, nimble and remarkably well balanced while also providing the impressive skills on their respective instruments. Crumb have made a record that is not afraid to push itself in new directions and haze-y atmospherics that invites the listener to euphorically escape to a psych groove planet that is well worth investing time to explore.