A Cricket in Times Square: A Cricket in Times Square

A Cricket in Times Square - s/t

A Cricket in Times Square - s/t

  1. Careless Download Careless
  2. 5½-minute hallway(6:11)
  3. mourning son (5:00)
  4. everything known about medicines (3:42)
  5. blood from heaven (4:34)
  6. outliving your shadow (12:37)

Release Date: November 2, 2004

All compositions ©2004 A Cricket in Times Square.

Recorded February—July 2003 at WMUC Studios.

Recorded and mixed by Sam Chintha, Matt Welch, and ACITS.

Mastered by Mark Guenther at Seattle Disc Mastering.

Artwork by John Wood.
Photography by Michael Tyler.

Despite deriving its name from a classic children’s book, a quick listen should convince you that A Cricket In Times Square is in no way another twee band (and, you’ll note, the acronym ACITS is much tougher sounding). Like the best groups of the shoegaze era, ACITS swathes its pop songs in a substantial, but not obliterating, layer of distortion. With ethereal vocals encircled by caustic, competing guitars, the Seattle quartet’s songs guardedly confront post-adolescent ennui and frustration thru both sullen lyrics and the episodic tension present in the music.

Although the intricately layered sound is thanks to the band’s lengthy recording and post-production efforts, and founders Michael Tyler and John Wood are more than just studio obsessives. Their unique sound is a rather specialized accomplishment (one Kevin Shields fans would surely appreciate), but they may have crafted the best album for attempting to puzzle out lyrics since Murmur.The best example may be the first song, “Careless,” although you may well find yourself hitting repeat even if you don’t feel the need to decipher every word. If you’re looking for “the single,” look no further—this is the most driving, passionate song about apathy you’ll ever hear. Track 2, “5½-Minute Hallway,” and track 5, “Blood From Heaven,” capture everything that made those early Ride releases so excellent- a combination of atmospherics, dynamism and solid songwriting that is increasingly hard to come by. Fans of stateside distortion enthusiasts should find a lot to like as well, as the Galaxie 500 dreaminess of track 6, “Outliving Your Shadow,” builds into Sonic Youth-style guitar heroics, leaving no doubt that ACITS is not just a couple of hacks with a lot of pedals—although they do have a lot of pedals.

As Interpol, British Sea Power, BRMC and Saddam Hussein have shown us, the first Bush administration is culturally relevant again. ACITS, mercifully, manages to evoke the best bands of that era without resorting to slavish copycatting.

Reviews

Rolling
Stone
{David Fricke, Jan 2005}

“This twin-guitars band takes its inspiration from the echo-impressionism
of Ride, the Church, and Sonic Youth. The blurred grandeur of this debut
is particularly impressive…”

PennyBlackMusic {Jonjo McNeill, Dec 2004}

“It sounds absolutely
incredible in a way nothing else has ever sounded absolutely incredible.”

MAGNET
{Matthew Fritch, Jan/Feb 2005}

This Seattle band—named after a children’s book(if you can get over
Death Cab for Cutie, you can surely give Cricket a break)—leaves
no guitar-effects pedal untouched on its debut. Coupled with smothered-in-the-fog
vocals, Cricket could easily fall in with the shoegaze ranks; the dizzy-with-distortion
quartet is substantially weirder, however, recalling a more pastoral Spacemen
3 or an even sloppier Galaxie 500.

PitchforkMedia
{Chris Dahlen, Dec 12, 2004}

“Other effects-heavy guitar bands may be more psychedelic, outro or spastic, but by taking a straighter approach to their wall of sound they play to their strength: the gigantic melodies. The band’s pedal fetish doesn’t get in the way of songwriting, and each wash of noise yields a
memorable tune.”

StylusMagazine
{Kyle McConaghy, Dec. 2004}

“Perhaps just as vital as Tyler’s melodies and the unique guitar production, ACiTS reminds us of the value of warm, analog recordings and reaffirm what commonly held true in the seventies—you can create a great album with less than 8 songs and 45 minutes of play time. The
album’s directness and the dazzling musical content combine for an impressive debut release.”

Splendid
{Amir Karim Nezar, Feb. 8, 2005}

“…this debut is a coherent and often magnificent display of craftsmanship
and virtuosic skill.”

Exclaim
{Cam Lindsay, Feb. 4, 2005}

“Their amalgamation
of fuzzbox garage rock, muddled shoegazing and drugged-out hypnotic psych
is as blatant as my description, but they certainly know what they’re
doing because they’ve made it work splendidly.”

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