Right, first things first: this review is late. This album, Crush Hi, by New York-via-Washington’s Vishal Narang, aka Airhead DC, is out now on Danger Collective records. I probably should have got this review out over a week ago, but I didn’t; and do you know why? Because I was LISTENING TO THE MUSIC. That’s what you want from me isn’t it?? Dear reader (and forgiving editor), do believe me when I say I couldn’t write the review because I was literally hearing the music coming out of the speakers, and it prevented me from writing the review 🙂 I hope that’s all clear. Now, time to beat the meat – and by that I mean write the review. Just so we’re all clear 🙂 The review is starting now.
There’s nothing wrong with this album. It’s fine. Perfectly servicable. Just over 20 minutes of music, no more and no less. This is a fine work of off kilter dance pop which goes down a treat. Think the upside-down back-to-front indie acid-pop of Animal Collective, the sincere, romantic, organic dance bops of Hot Chip and the pristine sad-prep peddled by bands like Decemberists and Broken Social Scene and you’re on the right streches.
Narang’s earnest, metallic vocals do sound remarkably like Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor at times, while at others like Panda Bear, notably on the driving, new wavey ‘King Charles Spaniel‘, one of the more straightforward indie-rock cuts of the album. Single ‘Honey-Coloured Flame Blown off My Candle‘, despite the faintly satirical-Cocteau Twins title, breezes airily by, and includes cheerily sung lyrics such as “think I might consider death/if this shit keeps happening to me”, which my soul felt on a DEEP level.
The song ‘Mouth Breather‘ also appealed to me because I am a mouth breather. The lengthiest song on the record, ‘My Pillow‘, is a seasick club …not quite banger, but loud tapper. The song is slightly let down by the muffled production and vocals, which make the song seem like it’s being heard through the wall of a neighbour’s party while you’re trying to sleep at the very reasonable time of 8:50pm.
However, on the whole this is a solid peice of work by an artist worth keeping an ear on. Never outstaying its welcome, these handsomely produced arrangements by a slightly green-around-the-gills sounding young man won’t knock you off your feet, but it’s still very pleasant stuff.