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Mesmerized by Cryptacize

There are some artists who don’t do anything more than retread familiar tones and grooves, and others who go so far out of their way to “challenge your perception of music” that the product becomes distinctly unenjoyable. In between those two extremes is a territory where musicians find a happy balance between the two pursuits. That territory is where you can find Cryptacize and their new album Mythomania.

Their sound includes familiar elements of rock, alternatingof artists like Radiohead, The Shins, and Architecture in Helsinki. Mythomania has two main elements constantly at odds – the guitar and drums providing a solid foundation on which the music is based, and light, floating vocals that see male and female vocals, and the periodic use of keyboard or organ. At various times they reminded me m to be almost the exact opposite of the instrumentals. “Tail And Mane” is a fun example of this, and gave me impressions of a boardwalk or circus scene. The instrumentals and vocals are sometimes on different time signatures, melting in and out of phase with each other. On the song “What You Can’t See Is,” this technique works to great effect.

In “Blue Tears,” the guitar is a standout, providing a wicked intro. Rhythm on this song is fascinating, and indicative of the quality over the whole album. It’s driving, fun, and fresh, providing great contrast against the vocals.

One of my favorite tracks was “The Loving Sun.” Heavily distorted guitar follows a keyboard opening. It’s paired with a soft female vocal part, and makes for a great sound. It’s a short track, but I love it. Male backup vocals and some great harmonizing seal the deal for this song.

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t been able to listen to this entire album. I’m working out of China, with a somewhat less-than-stellar internet connection. I’ve gone through my three allotted downloads, with each of them failing. Frankly, it’s killing me. There are five tracks at the end of the album I haven’t been able to hear, but if the others are any indication, they’re probably really cool.

With Mythomania, Cryptacize demonstrates greater musical depth and capability than your average band. If you’ve got the scratch, this is an album well worth purchasing.