steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Richard Cranium

Self-titled CD


Genre: math-rock, post-hardcore

Indianapolis, USA

Dec 2008

If you haven't figured out what Richard Cranium is a euphemism for, you haven't thought about it hard enough. That or you might be a dickhead yourself. The three folks behind all this noise may be young - in fact, their guitarist is merely 18 but this debut EP exudes an impressive knowledge of historic indie rock, sneaking nods to post-hardcore and math-rock and referencing the likes of Don Caballero, Hella, and Rumah Sakit. This is aggressive and angular indie rock with a hardcore edge, steeped in dissonance and a whacked-out rhythm section. The record may not have the urgency or melodic sensibility of some of the band's more complex brethren, but they certainly show promise. I would have preferred more tautness on some of these songs (for example, the cymbal-orgy that is "Bury St. Edmunds behind the Royal Exchange"), but I'm still impressed by their free compositions and nifty guitar work. "Kites on Mute" is one of the record's most interesting tracks; though perhaps guilty of a bit too much diddling, it merges a bizarre sense of melody with some wacky instrumental interplay and a hectic atmosphere. Such is the formula that works best for Richard Cranium. Good stuff.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, released 2008]