The amount of fun that can be felt just from looking at the cover on this album is all I needed to decide to cover this one tonight. The bright colors and then the fun picture of Hayley jumping with her guitar– it just brings a smile to your face instantly and I think we could all smile a little bit more these days. I’ve honestly never heard of Hayley and the Crushers before but I’m expecting this album to bring me an undeniable sense of joy.
As soon as “Jacaranda” kicked off, I knew this release was going to be what I expected and then some. There’s a retro feeling to this opening track while not feeling outdated or overdone. Hayley’s vocals take the forefront throughout this track just the way they should. Her voice is fun and poppy but has this alternative edge to it that I could hear doing really well in a ska band. I think the only reason the ska band idea comes to mind is because of the amount of fun this opening track brings. The fun continues with “Angelyne” which kicks off with a solid drum beat before the rest of the band kicks in with this distinct modern retro vibe that I have not heard before. Although it was warm up here in Minneapolis today, this song had me soaking up in the rays on a beach in California instead of pretending to sunbathe in the forty degrees we saw today. The guitar part in this track really stood out to me. It has a rockabilly style to it with the way the notes shudder up and down a scale in a very controlled manner. I loved the vibe that this little part brings to the table on this track.
“Church Of Flag” was an instant favorite of mine. There’s a more aggressive edge that comes through loud and clear on this track that I didn’t feel in the previous tracks. Even with this newfound edge, the style of this band doesn’t falter and the control that each member has on their own part is heard loud and clear. Although all of the tracks thus far are expertly mastered, I feel like this one has a very polished sound to it that I didn’t quite get in the previous songs.
I love the way Hayley’s vocals come through with a little bit more of a bitter edge during “Kiss Me So I Can”. It’s not that they are aggressive or even far off from her vocals in the previous track, there’s just something a tad different that made them stand out during “Kiss Me So I Can”. I loved this track and it had me dancing around my desk instead of typing on here so I apologize for not having much more to say on this track. By the time I finally contained my dancing, the album had moved onto “Water On Glass”.
“Water On Glass” is a lot like the previous tracks but has a little bit of a more subdued feeling to it. It’s still a fun track but there’s a little bit more emotion felt through both the words and the instrumentation. Although we are on the second to last track already, I am still having a hard time getting over the perfection in the vocals. Every word is enunciated perfectly and comes through both clear and silky. I would love to hear Hayley doing an a capella song or something a little more jazzy and bluesy because her voice absolutely has the talent to pull that off.
This quick release ends with “Suzy in a Headbanger” which I feel has everything laid out in the previous tracks wrapped up in it. It has that retro vibe, the California sun, the almost rockabilly styled parts sprinkled throughout– it just has it all and is the perfect culmination of this album. Again, I found myself spending more time dancing and trying to find a cat to take as my dancing partner than writing and I am so sorry about that. That being said, this is one of those albums that you have to listen to (and dance through) to really get the full effect so check it out and have some fun!
My Favorite Track(s): “Church of Flag”
For Fans Of: Retro Vibes; smiling; Dancing
Dance-ability: 10 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats dashed upstairs as soon as they saw me eyeing them up as potential dance partners
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 6.7 out of 10
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