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Slouching sideways out of the backwater town of Valleyfield, just west of Montreal, Crabe is a fantastically unpredictable duo of dudes laying down some of the freshest tunes that defy any attempts at categorization (no, for real, I know lots of shit bands say that in their bio, but an earscan of their Bandcamp link will confirm this.)
Though full of free/math/punk breakdowns that lacerate right through the songs like sudden death scenes in a movie, there is a hair more hooky accessibility in this, their second official full length album. That’s not saying much, as a casual listener who’s never been exposed to the likes of Naked City, Melvins, Mr. Bungle or Beefheart will still get vomitous vertigo from the spaghetti of left turns they take in every song. But if you are familiar with some of their work, you’ll be surprised to find some more consonant hooks creeping into songs like “Auto-Urine” or breakout hit “Nouveau Document” which plays like a grungy guitar hit of the 90s, full of hooks and frothy youthful punk jumping up and down.
Really in the end there is no comparing Crabe to anything. They use instruments made of wood and steel, it’s true, but their similarities, their situation within the stream of the zeitgeist is an impossible fit. In the currently diluted and stagnating pond of music from Montreal, Quebec and Canada, Crabe are almost too good, too fun, too extreme to be lumped in the milquetoast horde of pretenders that try and rep our wee island.
You can’t TRY to make music like this, you have to live it. You also have to have a Digitech whammy, but that’s just details. Full disclosure: I have toured with these guys (with another band) and it’s amazing to watch kids in every decrepit basement and warehouse that we played just scraping their jaws off the floor after their set. You can’t even begin to wonder how one writes, plays, remembers songs with these many fucked up parts, but they do, effortlessly, triumphantly and with a flair for unpredictable hijinks.
This collection, which is out now on Cuchabata, the eclectic DIY label that could, is so strong, so dense it’s impossible to choose a favorite song. Each one is like a mini album, but “Matin/Soir” , “Lagopède”, “Nouveau document” and “Poire Carnation” are absolute firebombs. The hell with it, every song is a classic and you need to get this album and catch them live if they ever tour through your town, I guarantee you your jaw will ache from dropping it so much!
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