By Dominic Cassidy (@lyre_of_apollo)
Crywank, Manchester’s stoner anti-folk punk outfit, consisting of James Clayton on vocals and guitar, and Dan Watson on drums, released their early Christmas present of a new album Egg on face. Foot in mouth. Wriggling Wriggling Wriggling. and it is a doozey. With much more prevalent punk influences than previously seen by the band, and lyrics utterly bizarre and absolutely delightful in equal measure, it’s not just business as per usual.
This is the band’s eighth album, coming off the back of 2016’s Don’t Piss on Me I’m Already Dead; and with such a regular release schedule one might expect to see a slip in quality though this is hardly the case for Crywank as with every new release, the band gets braver collectively: James’s song writing is becoming more diverse, both in terms of lyrics and playing style, and from the time Dan joined the band, the effect his drums have had on the band have changed intensely; to the point where it is now with riotous heavy hard drums.
To the point however; this album is chock full of music that anyone ought to find appealing. The band has really pulled together everything that has been developing throughout their career which has culminated in this piece of work, offering up something that, while different from some of the bands earlier work, is wholly fantastic and staggeringly thoughtful.
One of the best tracks on the album is When You Eat Yourself, First Start With Your Head Up Your Arse – it’s one of the slower cuts off the album and sounds utterly menacing, in no small part due to the lyrics running together like one big sentence and creating quite the sense of anxiety. Once this is done, there is a small break in the constant noise, boosting the tempo of the music. “So I bathe myself in a bath of scum I found it fun, covering clean in the sticky obscene, did a nightmare just turn you on? It’s hard not to feel wrong” lending the songs heartbreak over one’s self in a full self-depreciating manner; it’ll no send long-term listeners back to music from the Langdon Alger album.
Another exceptionally notable track on the album is An Academics Lament On Barbie, telling the tale of a student writing an essay on the problematic-ness of Barbie; and using this as a means to an end, James manages to sing about feminism, mental health, and what Barbie says to kids. The song also hits out with a perfectly balanced screaming, a hardcore-esque bit that just works so well with the repressed vibes in the song.
A song that was released with a music video (and a super secret Nyla split SHHH), Part 2, resurfaces on this album, re-recorded, however, now being called Part 2: Electric Boogaloo, lending a fast-paced punky vibe to what was previously quite a melancholy song; but it does not detract from the real sadness in the song, just disguises it a bit.
While there are not many weak tracks on the album, there are a couple that do not quite hold up as much as others, one of those being (Onion) Garden Fart (Onion); not necessarily a poor song but not as strong as some of the genuine fucking bops of this album. It definitely has a very floaty light vibe and is very very chill so it’s not without its merits.
One of the things that this album does that has been missing from most of the new Crywank albums is the wee mini-vignettes that pop up between some tracks, usually going on for about 30 – 40 seconds, previously leaning towards the more irreverent humorous side than the bands other tracks, and they gave us great moments like the mythical Paperclips. It’s wee breaks like Who Am I???1, Colm Hindsight, and Don’t Forget to Like Share and Subscribe that show the band’s growth and hark back to earlier days though don’t have quite the same comedic impact.
Finally, it would be impossible to talk about this album without mentioning the last track of the album, Story of The Lizard and the Sock; which, very contradictory to the previous paragraph just there (sorry but I canny be the first person to lead you astray in life), is a kinda funny song, but mostly sweet, about a love story revolving around a lizard who falls for a sock after a poorly thought out prank. “You say lizards and socks should never be together, but the lizard said this is forever, this is forever“. And no matter how wacky and straight up bizarre this may be, it exemplifies what Crywank are: they are fun and bizarre, and more often than not quite sad, and this is the track that exemplifies this perfectly.
No beating around the bush here, Crywank’s latest album Egg on face. Foot in mouth. Wriggling Wriggling Wriggling. is fucking amazing; sure it has some weaker tracks, though only when compared to the colossi on this LP, but it has some really different sounding tracks with more punk and hardcore influences, resulting in every risk taken pays off quite well and shows off the confidence of a band willing to take big strides.
Highlights: When You Eat Yourself First Start With Your Head Up Your Arse, An Academics Lament On Barbie, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo, Colm Hindsight
Lowlights: (Onion) Garden Fart (Onion) and Anti-Capitalism is a Great Marketing Technique