Release Date: Oct 14, 2016
Record label: Run for Cover Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk-Pop
It doesn’t feel like that long ago when indie pop was a throttling, invigorating source of optimism in the face of ever-encroaching 21st-century dread. Much of the most thrilling music to emerge from the 2000s defined itself through unrelenting joyousness, carving a new home for art to exist between the celebration of pop music and the critical perspective of DIY. Groups like Animal Collective, Sleigh Bells, Dan Deacon, and Lightning Bolt painted vibrant rainbows for us to bask in, music both high-concept and high-energy that, even if many of its ideas weren’t the first of their kind, never felt like mere homages to the past.
Knowingly or not, Crying saddled themselves with a lot of baggage when they first formed at SUNY Purchase in 2013. Early in the New York indie rock trio’s existence, guitarist Ryan Galloway took to programming synthesizer lines derived from old Game Boy software, which led many to understand them as a chiptune act. But then their name, and later their association with the Boston label Run For Cover records (“There are a lot of sad men,” Galloway said of the label in a recent interview with Village Voice) have led others to call them an emo band.
Two years ago, Crying hit us with their Gameboy infused sad rock making them somewhat of a renegade for a genre all their own. Fast forward two years later and the band has now matured into a newer sound that takes those Gameboy sounds and makes them more useful to the bandâ€™s songwriting. I was quite intrigued when I heard that Cryingâ€™s debut album, Beyond The Fleeting Gates was being compared to the likes of Queen and REO Speedwagon.
After dropping a pair of sweetly synthetic Gameboy-induced EPs in 2014, New York trio Crying navigate away from the chiptune on Beyond the Fleeting Gales, their debut full-length. From the beginning, the band's gift for melody was their greatest asset, and in ditching their 8-bit roots, they've opened themselves up to frame it in any way they like. A hybrid of indie pop, prog, and pop-punk, Crying produce a pretty massive sound, and yet, thanks to singer Elaiza Santos' warm and sometimes modest delivery, their music feels widely accessible and friendly.
If the title Beyond the Fleeting Gales infers some comprehensive maxim expressed in a pithy and dramatic manner, then Crying do a mighty good job at translating that sentiment in a musical context. The Purchase, NY trio first caught the attention of their local campus scene with their sound chip-synthesized beginnings, and though they’ve now evolved into a more traditional format, what hasn’t really changed is their partiality to overturn the affectations of eighties stadium rock. Except that instead of posing the macho-posturing image it obviously manifests, the band taps into a more deferential and melodious delivery brought my Elaiza Santos’s amiable stage presence.