Even though Nathan Koski-Vacirca and Duncan Covell are only seniors (or recently graduated) in high school they have been playing music for nine years. The two friends along with Neel Puri and Alexander D'Allaird formed Crux and released their self-titled EP Crux. The young artists attempt at blending genres like metal and with jazz. Sometimes the band fails and other times they have some success.
The recording quality is about that of a demo. It’s never terrible but also never close to becoming something you would hear from a respectable studio. The band kicks things off with “Crème Fraîche” which is a pretty straightforward instrumental track founded in metal. It lies somewhere between Joe Satriani and a myriad of metal elements. The band immediately establishes that they are talented from a technical perspective. I thought the drumming was sick and thoroughly enjoyed some of the guitar riffs.
The highlight of the EP is “What’s Up, Sponge!” which sounds nothing like the first track. “What’s Up, Sponge!” sheds the distortion and embraces jazz. This is another instrumental track but the most slick out of the five. The guitar in particularly is impressive. We do start running into some problems with “Fear to Fathom.” The song goes into metal territory and does feature some singing. Unfortunately, the vocals are way too loud in the mix and the singer fails at trying to do his best demon like death metal impression. I couldn't understand a single word and the music ends up sounding out of place against the vocals.
The band then goes into a sparse, pretty song revolving around acoustic guitar. I’m not sure if the band was trying to be shocking by putting the farthest thing you could possibly imagine from the previous song or not. The juxtaposition is not only baffling but also rips apart any type of foundation they were trying to establish. The band goes back into metal territory with the last song “Tree.” It’s a track that revolves on virtuoso guitar soloing.
I’m not exactly sure what the band is trying to accomplish with this EP. Some of the songs like “What’s Up, Sponge!” work very well on their own but make no sense in context to the rest of the EP. Luckily, the band is really young and has a lot of time to iron out the kinks. They will want to establish some kind of foundation if they hope to build an audience.
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