Deconstructing the deconstructionists

If you can imagine merging the vocal sensibilities of mid-90s Britpop with Big Starry riffage and a decided commitment to cacophony, then you get Crazy Eyes.

Oh, don't forget the electric piano. That's key, too.

Crazy Eyes
Ring Ring Jingalong and Dark Heart Singalong
(Knick Knack)

This Seattle group has crafted some of the most discordantly beautiful pop songs I've heard in ages. The vocal hooks remain somewhat unscathed, but the music is constantly battling with the forces of deconstruction. The tension in these songs is whether or not they'll make it to the end; there's no question of their brilliance.

Part of what makes this album so spectacular is the way the pieces don't fit together in such specific ways. Some folks simply don't try to make their songs work. That deviant ethic works well enough sometimes, though it can get frustrating even on a masterpiece like Sister Lovers. Crazy Eyes makes sure the last wheel never falls off. These songs stagger and stumble, but they always reach the finish line.

Not garage, not Anglophile pop and not punk, Crazy Eyes navigates its own path through the wreckage of the modern music scene. It probably shouldn't work, but this succeeds on an almost unimaginable level. This isn't the future (I can't imagine anyone even contemplating replicating this), but it's a bracing blast of the right now. My heart continues to race.

Jon Worley

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