Crypts are Bryce Brown, Nick Bartoletti and Steve Snere
Vocalist Steve Snere, former frontman of chaotic punk revisionists These Arms Are Snakes, brings a snarling urgency to the songs, while programmer Bryce Brown blasts out an aural assault of horror show noise, subsonic bass and skittering rhythms. Meanwhile, visual artist Nick Bartoletti creates a total environment of light and video projections for the band's live experience as well as its decidedly nihilistic aesthetic. It's an all-out attack on the senses that comes across as fresh and invigorating as the early days of punk.
"I needed a change of pace, to take myself out of the guitar-based rock world," says vocalist Steve Snere. "And the three of us wanted to experiment to find a sound that we wanted to hear." The result is the intense, occasionally bleak, yet endlessly enthralling debut album. Comparisons range from Wolf Eyes meets Christian Death to Skinny Puppy playing Dizzee Rascal. But these touch points seem to only scratch the surface of the snarling beast within Crypts.
The album was engineered with Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces), building upon basics recorded by Brown on Pro-Tools to which the band added live instruments. Most of the sounds were generated on home-built and modified equipment. Live, the band uses a homemade sound-reactive video device for its startling visuals. "We play everything live, there's no loops," Brown explains. " It's not a lot of button-pushing. Nick runs visuals live, while also playing synths. It's more like a rock band in a live setting."
Crypts opens with the fittingly titled "Completely Fucked", awash with slithering John Carpenter soundtrack synths oozing over galloping drum machine beats and synthetic handclaps. Nearly buried beneath the din, Snere moans and wails, building to a screaming crescendo like a maniac. And, with a choked growl, the song ends just barely over 2-minutes, launching into the hip-hop beat and almost bubbly-sounding keyboards of "Daft." Elsewhere, the trio lean into The Cure's Pornography-era gloom-pop ("Territories") and dark, anthemic hooks ("Bloods"). Throughout, it's a vastly energetic, albeit downright depraved sounding album thanks to Snere's effectively dramatic and versatile vocals and the band's innovative collision of musical aesthetics.
Crypts self titled deubt album will be released on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on September 4, 2012.