Crypts – Crypts (2012)

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Announcing a genre as “dead” is as old as music itself. Jazz is dead, rock is dead, pop is dead, rap is dead, country music is possibly dead or should be, metal is dead, classical music is dead or at least most of the guys writing it are dead, soul is dead.

There comes a point when the declaration of something as dead — and the consequent wide-eyed proclamation of another form as renaissance — starts to eat its young.

So here is Crypts, a Seattle trio headed by Steve Snere of Kill Sadie and These Arms Are Snakes. Snere is no stranger to disconsolate destruction of rock, so it stands to reason that his Crypts would carry on the routine. Insert programmer Bryce Brown and visual artist Nick Bartoletti and you’ve got the perfect recipe for cooler-than-thou bloggers to go bonkers for.

For Crypts, the starting point is the “long, slow demise” of rock. Only from this debris can this music of disaster, hopelessness and permanent winter mark its coming. The debut doesn’t build much, however, and the reconstruction process is lacking in this wailing wall of grating, glowering, thumping, and hammering. Perhaps it’s the fact that Crypts feels like a third of it is missing. The music smears, through its racket, visual imagery. Clearly Bartoletti is a band member for a reason and his graphic influence seems crucial as the eight tracks blister by. Seeing the three at a live show is probably a must.

The components that are present on Crypts make for a thought-provoking listen, though.

“Completely Fucked” opens on an unsheltered setting with hip hop beats, machine claps and concealed vocals rambling for about two minutes before carrying on with “Daft,” a coated run of mania in its own right. The scrambling and rambling gives way to something special every so often, like with the Cure-like “Territories.” The track buzzes with big synth and 80’s beats, drawing out its own vision of Pornography without filling in all the reference points. It shows Crypts have a melodic side.

But Crypts really lies at the place where death of one form simply gives way to formlessness. There’s no replacement, no shake-up, no enthusiastic restoration for the future. There’s oblivion, a bleak depiction of stacking sounds on top of sounds on top of sounds until the right mood sticks and plunges its daggers in.

If that’s an uncomfortable thought, you’re not alone. But rest assured one day this, too, will be pronounced “dead.”

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Jordan Richardson

Jordan Richardson is a Canadian freelance writer and ne'er-do-well. He also contributes to his own Canadian Cinephile and Canadian Audiophile websites. Contact Something Else! Reviews at
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