Livin’ in Strut!!!! Indeed! Strut indeed!!!!
I’m really excited about this release. Strut has been just under a year in the making and it was well worth it. On Strut you have a Crimson Sweet that is DIFFERENT, but not too far removed from what they started out with oh so long ago. Strut in my opinion represents a FINE TUNED Crimson Sweet. The car ran FINE before, but now it’s beating everything on the street. Get it?
Strut plays like a live Crimson Sweet set, but in all its FINE TUNED glory still fails to capture the Sweet live.... That’s not a bad thing either. I mean, FUCK! This is a studio release. The studio is a place for venturing. The first thing you will notice about Strut is the quality! I mean, it sounds AMAZING. Added extract too. Piano here. There. Guitar effects. Right-on-the-money backing vocals. I never thought any past recordings were questionable or anything, but they have still out done themselves. Strut represents a comfortableness. It’s like Crimson Sweet have finally reached a point where they talk in each others minds. It’s like this time, when they set about to record Strut, they knew what they had to do and they done it!
The CD starts off like their live set, with a cover. "Hello New York". Well, I was told this is a cover. I never have heard the original, but really, Crimson Sweet make it their own. Another sign of a good, (no, dare I say?) GREAT band (dont believe me? See Blister Pop by The Embarrassment)!!! After its end you are treated to three new back to back songs, "Shandon Celebrity", "Still Glistening" and yet one more atom bomb of a song, "Airport Novel". On these songs I was taken back. Crimson Sweet truly are Neoteric Titans, with a sound bigger than life and a melody stronger than the toughest metal... Crimson Sweet are the epitome of The Neoteric Punk/Wave for no other reason than they consume my every ounce of attention. I see no wrong. I see no mistake. I see nothing that I would change. This is a rare quality. Crimson Sweet are a rare band. There’s a lot of buzz about NYC right now. The Strokes. Interpol. Those bands are good. I really like both, but you know what? The combined force of both is nothing compared to Crimson Sweet’s hit points.
Next up are newly recorded versions of "So Electric" and "No Hot On Cold". Both of these songs were released as Crimson Sweet’s latest single from their own fledgling label, Slow Gold Zebra. Apparently on their last tour this single sold like fucking ambrosia. They dropped about 200 copies while on tour. They were looking at a possible repress by time they returned from that tour, and I’m only guessing because I don’t stay in constant communication with this band; I figure they have better things to waste their time talking to a hayseed like me. But I would dare to say that it didn’t see a repress after all. I don’t know that for a fact, but I am making an educated guess. Duly noted though: I don’t consider myself educated, and my past has led me to believe I am not smart at all... I bet the decision to re-record these songs made that single a collectors item. The new version of "So Electric" has a slower tempo but the production quality, which brings out that piano I mentioned earlier, is pretty damn great sounding. It really rounds out the song and gives it some extra touch. The new version of "No Hot On Cold" introduces you to how the song should really sound. Don’t get the wrong impression, "No Hot On Cold" was really a hard hitter on the single, but it was still B side material. On Strut, "No Hot On Cold" is hotter sounding. More decadent. More angular. Most importantly, it’s more sonic-aerosol, leaving you gasping for more.
Then.... two unreleased songs. "White Heat" and "California Split". Two songs that I believe really capture Crimson Sweet at their best. "White Heat" is a slower, more melodic tune. Despite the lack of a lyric sheet, Rooster Booster really bends your mind when she sings "Twin suns...". Hot damn!!!! Twin suns INDEED! I dream of a place where there are twin suns. This song, coupled with "California Split", is the zenith of modern emotions. It lends a soundtrack to this dull and gray world we all live in. It captures with music what it means to go one step past where you been. Onward. Something like this isn’t an easy thing to do. Recognizing what’s around you is one thing. Writing its soundtrack is another.
The next two songs are re-recorded versions of previously released material. Some of you might think this is some sort of trick because if you are like me, you own these songs on other releases. Your not being tricked though, your being treated! You see, what Crimson Sweet are giving us is something rare. They just aren’t PLAYING AT US with their releases and at their live performances. They are PLAYING WITH US! We are alongside of them! We are with them! We all walk single file, holding hands behind them. What they feel, we feel. After listening to Strut I told the On/On Switch Commanders that they should feel lucky a band like Crimson Sweet even deals with them. I consider myself lucky to know such great people myself.... Anyway, the versions of "I Want to Live" and "Queen City VA" are fiery as one might have imagined, hitting you with the force of a mile wide asteroid. The impact leaves no crater, only the shaken truths of sonic misconceptions. What THEY have been doing has been drastically set off course.
With Crimson Sweet we will take it back! Crimson Sweet are my Neoteric Virus.
Last song. Something different for The Sweet: an instrumental. Now a lot of you will know that I’m not a big fan of instrumentals. But sometimes bands can do them right. It’s how a band looks at their instrumentals really. "Sad Walk at Knifepoint" isn’t a song, it’s sonic-art!!!! It’s inspiring. Capturing. It sets about imagery in my head. Gives me thoughts. Gives me feelings. Once again Crimson Sweet impress. Levels, hours. Days, eons past where they left you, Crimson Sweet take you farther.
Fans of Wipers take note. Livin in Strut plays like Greg Sage himself produced this release....
Crimson Sweet. What’s left to say? I can’t even answer that. I feel honored to them for making me feel like we really are in this shit together. Good things for Crimson Sweet, because they deserve it. I look to the future and what it holds with Crimson Sweet touring in support of this CD and I get a little bit mad. Where Crimson Sweet are going, where they could go; it’s miles away from where I am. It’s not like they are going straight to MTV or anything, but I see them in places around people that haven’t been in the trenches with them, like most of us have. I hate to say this, but it’s humanity here: I feel as though some people don’t deserve Crimson Sweet. I wish I could set myself up as some sort of tester to hand out applications for Crimson Sweet fan base APPROVAL or something, but you know and I know that this is totally wrong on MANY different levels. Something like that isn’t what it’s all about. Crimson Sweet are just not my band. They are not anyone’s band. But in some ways, they can be EVERYONE’S band.
Just not anyone, or EVERYONE, deserve this band. But, if anyone can really CHANGE the shape of THINGS to come and that have been, it’s Crimson Sweet. Take Neoteric Punk/Wave and go far. Behind enemy lines. Clandestine insurrections. There they go.... I don’t want to call it a suicide mission, but I do wish I was dead.