Saturday, September 09, 2023

Crux Examine Isolation and Despondency in the Once Familiar on ‘Empty Home’

Described by their producer as, “a weird mixture of Arctic Monkeys and Pink Floyd but with big political bollocks”, the Newcastle quartet, Crux have been on the cutting edge of a intersection of post punk that incorporates the grit and textural sludge of grunge, the angularity and unpredictability of prog rock and the undeniable hookiness of pop punk, heavily filtered through the lyrical milieu of social commentary on suburban living and internet subculture. 

These aforementioned ancillary elements were firmly and meticulously molded into their 2021 EP, Death at the Cash Machine, which was, in many ways, a project that showcased their mastery of these individual elements at a base level. Their most recent single ‘Empty Hime’  is an incredibly, emotionally poignant realization of sounds and ideas the group was playing with on their prior EP by way of a track that explores emotional despondency in a decaying home; particularly within the broader context of post-pandemic living.

The track gets off to a rolling start with a beautiful chorus drenched guitar passage over steady drum grove, as the first line comes in painting a vivid picture of a dilapidated home: “The heating has stopped and the pipes are beginning to burst / The water cools and there’s mold growing on the walls''. From there instrumental moves into the comparably brighter, melodic refrain; which houses the refrain as well as the song's thesis: “The guilt wraps around me like a cold blanket / And weighs me down pressing me to the ground”. Which each passing measure the track grows more aggressive, softer clean guitars give way to more explosive distorted guitars, measured vocals become yelps and wails until all that is left is a harrowing chant of the title of the song over and over before the track fades out into the a clean guitar outro.

All in all, for fans of acts like Black MidiSlint, and Mothé, there is a lot to enjoy about this track both on an instrumental and lyrical level. Crux is definitely a group to keep on your radar!

Kenneth Butcher


Image: 'Empty Home’ Official Single Cover

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