December 10th, 2009 | Album reviews


Download: Cobalt Cranes – “Freak Out”


(from the EP In Media Rez on Anticc Records)

Of the emergent local bands that dare tread music’s slippery, precipitous slopes, Cobalt Cranes are one of the few fit to be Sherpas for the rock and roll world. The front cover of their new EP In Media Rez features artwork of a car epically emitting psychedelic exhaust—and this trip starts mid-ride, not with a rag-tag group of beginners but with a mature band that has developed its talents with years of playing to L.A.’s bottom rung. Once the songs start playing, so does the journey.

This EP’s song styles and track order feel classical in form, ala Homer and Virgil, but trade bombast for the correct balance of grit and sheen.  Track one, “Freak Out,” starts us off well, living up to its name, the perfect manifestation of this pandemic band.  “Take You” begins with a tinge of ambient noise before launching into a minor key adventure with bright, polished harmonies.  “Messy” is a two minute bundle of fun full of distortion and Chuck Berry blues riffs, a full-scale war on the senses.  And finally, “Picture in the Snow” is both the descent into Hell and the deus ex machina that resolves this tale.  With Donovan (Drums) and Kate (Bass) supplying solid, pulsating grooves for Tim and Mateo to splatter colors of guitar tone over, Cobalt Cranes earn themselves a place in the garage pantheon.  Listen. Love.

-Steven Carrera