Unsigned and Unholy

UNSIGNED AND UNHOLY: CROWNEVICT

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crownevict

It’s no secret that a number of people on this site have a sizeable admiration for Deftones and a handful of other bands that aren’t quite metal by the standard definition.

I’m a fearless advocator of this clique of bands, and I’m always interested in left-of-center heavy rock bands that aren’t Tool or Deftones but share their inexplicable appeal. It just so happens that one these most delightful discoveries lives only a few hours away from my native Connecticut and has a killer debut album in serious need of some attention.

It’s dangerous to say this in a public forum, but when Diamond Eyes dropped (or, more accurately, leaked) about two years ago I was maybe one of four people who liked, but didn’t love it. In light of the adversities that haunted the band, Deftones rallied and heroically put forth a solid record, but one that, 8-strings excluded, didn’t do a whole lot to improve upon a formula they had mastered in 2000.

Enter Manchester New Hampshire’s Crownevict, the group that finally gives me that long-awaited successor to Saturday Night Wrist. Perhaps that’s a little pigeonholing, and more than a little heretical, but their debut album We Are the Enemy does make me wonder — what would one of the most influential bands in alternative metal sound like with an actual lead guitarist? and what would they draw from current rock and metal styles if they didn’t stick quite so unshakably to their guns?

Into the atmospheric stew come bright guitar leads and oddly harmonized riffs that hint at some unusual post-hardcore influences in the vein of The Receiving End of Sirens or Glassjaw and some subtle electronic textures that remind me so much of that one 30 Seconds to Mars album I seem to bring up in every piece of writing I do for this site. Comparisons are inevitable, but the diversity and presentation in Crownevict’s music makes their sound all the more interesting.

Crownevict also love low tunings, rough but decidedly “pretty” vocals, and goosebumpy melodies galore. For those reasons they’ve been passed over by some and pegged with the facsimile status that 10 Years or Hoobastank found inescapable early in their careers (i.e. Diet Tool, Incubus-Zero) and that’s pretty far off. There’s nothing diluted about Crownevict’s sound; it’s just a different angle of a familiar and very lovable style.

We Are the Enemy is available now on itunes.

-BS

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