Based out of Ozark, Missouri, Clinton Houseman makes bizarre alternative rock music under the alias Krejad, providing his listeners with unexpected twists and turns, long, prog-worthy jams and chilling mumbled vocals. Krejad has just come out with a new LP titled Three Worlds that Houseman explains was mainly written about the people closest to him and his self-perception— two concepts that are pretty ubiquitous in songwriting. These emotional jams definitely kept me on my toes, as every time I thought Houseman would turn right, he turned left; but an enjoyable left. Three Worlds challenged me as a listener, but eventually understanding the music was worth the multiple listens.
The first noteworthy track on the LP is “Becoming”, which starts with an ominous, jazz inspired riff that soon transitions into a heavy groove that I couldn't help but tap my foot to. Interestingly enough, following the groove came a nice soundscape generated by some reverberated guitars playing harmonics that Houseman decided to sing over. The vocals land somewhere between Dinosaur Jr. and Alice In Chains— slightly off pitched and muttered, but enjoyable nonetheless.
To be honest, I do not usually go for this type of thing, but I think it works here, and the guitars seem to be giving off the same vibe with the slow, gradual strums on the bridge pickup. The tech-nerd in me feels compelled to point out that the guitar tones in this album are pretty spectacular and considering this is a guitar-based album there is plenty of it to listen to. Perhaps my favorite moment of the whole album came toward the end of the song with a thunderous guitar riff, soon harmonizing with itself, in a goofy time signature. Not only were the guitars well executed but the drums were as well showcasing Houseman’s talent as an artist and multi-instrumentalist.
My favorite track on the album, and perhaps the most accessible track, is titled “Isra” and begins with a smooth bass line and harmonized, flanged vocals. The synth lines in this song are really enjoyable but the guitar player in me can’t stop focusing on the graceful guitar lines. When the music breaks and the guitar hits by itself, the mood changes into something more angry and adventurous. At about the three-minute mark Houseman transitions into a Jonny Greenwood-esque guitar mood for a few seconds, showcasing more of his six-stringed ability.
One thing Houseman does really well is transitioning from section to section despite the diversity between the sections. This song could have easily been split into two but it is clear that the lyricist in Houseman wanted to encapsulate all of the music in the song under one articulated thought. The second half is much more delicate than the first with arpeggiated guitar sequences and what sounds like a Spanish influence. The Spanish sounding guitar blended with the odd synth lines made for a cool experience. Objectively speaking, the strongest element to this song is probably the bass line, as it is both melodic, rhythmic and supportive.
“Silver Chord” is another track on the LP that stood out to me. The hypnotic bass line combined with the mellow guitar creates a really cool vibe. The song in no way feels urgent yet maintains a really solid pace throughout. I also think this is the strongest vocal performance on the album. It is probably the most orthodox vocal delivery style, however I think it is appropriate with the music. Being one of the shorter songs on the album, this is a fun jam song that is easy to listen to.
I really, really appreciate all of the grooves on this album. What impresses me the most is the fact that Houseman plays all of the instruments himself, recorded them himself, mixed it himself and mastered it himself. With this being said, the music is in no way basic or simple. A few of the songs are over six minutes long and contain several instruments each. The strength of the guitar alone on this album was enough to sell it to me, and combined with the other aspects, I would say that this is a very strong album of high quality. I am looking forward to Krejad’s future releases.
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