Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Crystal Casino Band’s ‘Not About You’ Welcomes An Indie-Rock Revival

The Crystal Casino Band, formerly known as The Colonies, have released their fourth studio album ‘Not About You’, which defines feel good indie-rock, representing the modern indie scene whilst still hailing to older influences.

It seems the band had a clear concept for this album – one of heartbreak and angst. Yet the sweet irony of this is clever and creative, as the whole trope of the album contradicts to its title ‘Not About You’. 

From start to finish, the eight-track album documents the aftermath of a broken relationship, starting with an aggressive, angst-filled opener in the title track and ending on a mellower note with closing song ‘Slow Dance’

Likened to the ending of a movie depicting the imagery of a prom or a party, ‘Slow Dance’ is a stand-out track on the album to showcase the band’s versatile musicality, as it contrasts to the heavier-rock sound on the seven tracks preceding it. Instead, the use of acoustic guitars and vocal production alluding to the likes of Lord Huron’s paired with the metaphorical lyricism (‘’light a cigarette and get it off your chest/ those ashes in the wind are all that we’ve got left’’) bring a fitting end to the turbulent romance depicted in the record.


Aside from this, the DC-based band have played well to their go-to rockier sound, utilising guitar led rhythms in ‘Not About You’ and ‘Complicated’ to create feel-good music perfect for singing along to at a gig. After four studio albums, it’s no wonder that the four members, Jordan Mullaney, Jarrod Hendricks, Joey Mamlin and Pete Stevens, can mould together and create a cohesive and polished sound. ‘Kala’, the 1 minute 20 second instrumental interlude halfway through the album, perfectly demonstrates this, as it also gives Mamlin on drums his time to shine on the guitar-heavy record.


Interestingly, the production in some has been mastered to highlight the instrumentation rather than the vocals, but this seems to be a great choice. Faded vocals almost blending into the background on ‘Bad Luck’ contrast to the clear, raw and barely altered musings on ‘Complicated’ and ‘Waste My Time’, making for a captivating listening experience to keep fans engaged. Four-four beats and verse-chorus structures filled with catchy hooks define the tracks too make them memorable and perfect for live playing, especially when paired with moments such as a sway-along outro with faded vocals on title track ‘Not About You’.


Back to the concept of the album, the lyricism pays perfect testament to the band’s talent and solidifies their place in a busy indie scene, as their music draws parallels to Arctic Monkeys and The Killers. ’’Love’s a battleground/ The battle’s won but we destroyed this town’’ in ‘Complicated’ and fitting picturesque imagery of ’’when we overcome just what was wrong we’ll sit in sun’’ in ‘Sunset’ evidence the thought put in to bring the vision of a failing relationship to life. The upbeat sound of the record paired with the deeper lyricism makes for a stellar combination. Relatable tropes such as that of feeling the need to seek approval in a relationship explored in ‘100 Degrees’ with symbolism of a relationship or summer romance ‘overheating’, make for an honest listen and give fans a new level of connection with the band.


If you’re looking for a new band to get into over the summer The Crystal Casino Band can satisfy your indie-rock needs. ‘Not About You’ is available to buy and stream now.

Amrit Virdi

 @_amritvirdi @thevinylwriter

Image: Not About You Single Artwork


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