At the helm of Crown Plaza is Nima Kazerouni. Kazerouni is joined by Christina Gallard (vocals/drums), Martin Roark (bass) and James Roehl (lead guitar). Kazerouni launched Crown Plaza back in 2012, fresh off a breakup that led to his living, temporarily, in a space near LAX with a view of the Crown Plaza hotel. He dubbed it “airport-inspired electronic breakup music,” and the sound has since evolved into breezy, melancholic dream-pop meant to be enjoyed thoroughly on the beachfront. Crown Plaza is unleashing their self-titled album Crown Plaza which was released in November 2019.
Crown Plaza opens with “Reactor,” where an adamant drumming beat starts off this track. A range of distorted guitars reverberate overhead. This is a slow sauntering song with a jaunty beat. The combined vocal harmonies are hazy and dynamic. The melodic guitars roll off with force. The track has a shoegaze dreamy pop appeal with fuzzed out guitars.
Following is “Frontside,” where the drums add in a dynamic rhythm to the backbeat. The vocals are dream-like, filled with a soft lilting vibe. The sound is overall melodious with a nice flow to it. The vocal harmonies are soaring and ethereal sounding.
On “Staring At The Wall,” warbling synths start off this song, giving it an eerie reverberating feel. A cascade of drums, guitars and bass, the cadence of keys also trickle in this song. This track is slow grooving with a slow sauntering vibe. The instrumentals are hazy and fuzzy. On “L.A. To Seattle,” groovy guitars launch toward the start. This is a resonating ballad with a wholly dynamic feel. This is a great song to sing-along to. The guitars are soaring and filled with reverb.
On the closer, “Chem Waves,” a wall of guitars starts off this track, giving off a pressing sense to this song. The vocals are ethereal and soaring filled with airy feels. This is a haunting and dream-like song filled with a dynamic vibe. The haze-drenched dream pop sounds recall a Beach House feel.
This is a savvy release filled with smooth vocal harmonies, a mellow, easy going vibe and full ranging fuzzed out guitars. The guitars relinquish a garage rock sound straight from the ‘60s. The dream-like and haunting sounds will please fans of ‘60s guitar pop. Nuanced with retro textures, this is an album that balances the new and old with great gravity. The band subtly incorporates their influences while also brandishing a sound that is all their own.
Some of these gems are under the three-minute range and this left me wanting more. But I thought the brief brushes into misty soundscapes gave the music a haunting and melancholy scope that made it all the more dynamic. Crown Plaza takes you on a dreamy ride through airy guitars, a drumming backbeat and evocative combined vocal harmonies with female backing vocals. The record is a great start and I can’t wait to hear more from the band.
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