Music Reviews

Cryptacize Mythomania

(Asthmatic Kitty) Rating - 5/10

While the screech of manipulated tape recorded mandolin plays at an accelerated pace during Tail & Mane, (like a manic Venice on Ephedra), the song’s otherwise perky throb is dressed up by singer Nidelle Torrisi’s appealing tone and predictably festooned with rapid-fire guitar successions, noise-based and detuned as if we haven’t heard that before.  Tail & Mane attempts to instill guitarist Chris Cohen’s (Curtains, ex-Deerhoof) idiosyncratic approach to songwriting into anyone listening to Mythomania, second album by minimalist indie trio Cryptacize.  Mythomania is a cute and bewildering jam that embraces the twinkling gaze of fairytale dreams and candy-coated kingdoms while tapping into that indie vein of perpetual hipness, seemingly resigned to get by on cleverness and guitar solos that resemble Neil Young at his least dexterous.

Though a fuller more calculated realization than his Curtains work, Cryptacize further comments on Cohen’s “less is more” approach, an aesthetic he brings to “less is less” at points.  As he sings in What You Can’t See Is, “Part of me/You’re only really seeing part of me,” you wonder if the sentiment is more than a touching observation and possibly the basis for his vision.   

With the gallivanting Blue Tear and the Deerhoof-informed Kinks bounce of the album’s title track, Mythomania is alive enough to seem interesting, but slows to a mostly inanimate crawl.  Torrisi is able enough to keep the songs somewhat lovely, even when she hasn’t much to work with (The Loving Sun, Galvanize), and then something like the sudden rush of One Block Wonders’ closing final minute has Cohen pushing a surge or two through his guitar with constipated exertion, attempting to squeeze a nugget out of an album that’s dry as aspirin. 

But, I’ll Take The Long Way does do the band some justice; its interesting array of bells, tinks and clanks is worked into a smooth, smoked out backdrop.  Groove and space work together, one fluidly absorbing the other, Cohen’s spatial infatuations causing an effect.

Maybe it’s unfair of me to point my jaded finger at the trio and ask, “When are you bands going to stop pretending to be original?”  Everything being derivative of everything, yes, it’s an unfair question to ask, but only because I don't feel as though Cohen or Cryptacize steal their sound.  I feel that they steal an idea of how they’re “supposed” to sound, reveling in the current indie landscape’s undeserved level of hubris which has run so rampant that “overrated” has become the genre’s newest go-to adjective.  Mythomania’s level of sophistication is not hard to achieve and it certainly does nothing to elevate Cohen’s abilities, his contributions to Deerhoof being markedly superior.