On its self-titled debut, Crash Palace gives a nod to '90s grunge with a 2001 modern rock sensibility. If there was ever a band with the words "radio friendly" stamped on their foreheads, it would be Crash Palace. Most of the 13 selections on the disc are poised for success in terms of gaining modern rock airplay, because this up and coming band has, simply put, a knack for writing good songs. Catchy melodies and hooks, an engaging vocal performance, and just the right amount of musical diversity make Crash Palace's songs fresh and enjoyable listening. Make no mistake, Crash Palace is a signature modern rock band, but its subtle incorporation of grunge, industrial, and even psychedelia gives its music an added edge. In fact, Crash Palace's polished sound is a bit remarkable given that the band is so new. "Whatever Gets You Through" recalls Alice in Chains, particularly in the vocal delivery, but its speedy guitar riffs and power chords keep the song firmly planted in modern rock, with an aggressive edge. Elsewhere, grunge pops up again in the rock ballad "Two Kinds," which resembles old Soundgarden while maintaining a contemporary rock sound. The trippy "Terra Firma" incorporates a surreal tone with woozy guitars, electronic sound effects, and a pulsing mid-tempo rock beat. This is the best song of the bunch, and there's plenty to choose from here. Crash Palace has an unmistakably good sound and a bright future ahead. The band effortlessly combines several past styles into its modern rock format, but without losing direction. What an impressive debut.
Internationally-recognized Australian musicians are few and far between. AC/DC, Olivia Newton John, and Men at Work spring to mind. Now the band Crashpalace might be the biggest thing to spring from the Land Down Under since Elle MacPherson.
A five-man act led by vocalist Marcus Maloney, it is stressed that every member of Crashpalace is integral to its image and success. Maloney quips that, "The kinds of bands we’ve all liked have been like that. Lennon and McCartney were obviously important to the Beatles, but without George Harrison, ...without Ringo Starr, they wouldn’t have been the Beatles."
A standard rock act drawing heavily on the 90’s alternative rock scene, Crashpalace has perfect timing with their premiere release. With rock primed for a revival, rock groups waiting in the wings during the recent pop/rap/metal era are plentiful and with a largely untested arsenal to unleash on the public. Just six years young, the boys of Crashpalace might be lucky enough to be hitting their creative stride during a new Rocknaissance.
Fresh out of the blocks, Crashpalace already sounds refined. The band members seem to have gelled during their time together. Relying on group harmony and standard melodies as opposed to complex lyrics and guitar solos makes their songs easy to follow and catchy. Plenty of air time lies ahead on the radio.
Crashpalace’s heavy backdrop would be more conducive to harsh vocals and occasional screaming as practiced by Chino Moreno of the Deftones. Instead, Marcus Maloney chooses to go the way of the infamous Noel Gallagher, adding softer vocals to reverberating music. But unlike Oasis, Crashpalace has yet to go insane and go on a "We’re bigger than Jesus and The Beatles" kick.
In short, good tunes, good group.
Contributor: Patrick MacDonald
Filter/God Lives Underwater in the production, something fuzzy and vaguely futuristic, and that may be what saves CrashPalace from being just another modern rock radio band. Surprisingly, the more you dig in, the more you realize it’s got some glam (Ziggy Stardust, not Ratt) sound, like when ya hear "20th Century Boy" in that car commercial with stylish-looking people bobbing their heads and ya realize the song only needed a touch of production clean-up to rule all over again. My pick for single woulda been, "Control," which opens with a drum loop, but quickly leads into a lush live rock song bursting with melody and big guitar riffs. Like Radiohead’s "Creep" without all that falsetto. On another potential single, "Evolution," the production is a little more "straight," with simple strumming and emotive singing and all the usual goods. It’s my least favorite song because it’s the most normal. Other tunes could show "heavy alternative" or "radio hard rock" bands how to suck significantly less. They have the unfortunate tendency to stoop to multiple ballads (one maybe two per release, fellas), but another spin of "Control" and they’re instantly forgiven.
Crashpalace are doing what Bush did on their last record; trying to add sophistication to grunge rock by slicking up the production a little and adding some bells and whistles, while keeping with the basic verse-chorus-verse format. There are some good songs on here: "Perfect" shows some loud, disheveled guitar, as does "Brickwall." However, the slower songs on the record are a little too cutesy and predictable. Marcus Maloney’s smoky rasp is perfectly representative of the angry, sensitive guy. While this is not an overly ambitious album, there is plenty here for the people who like their rock music to the point.
by Crash Palace
5 out of 5
What do you think?
The dance that matches this song is moshing.
When I heard this song I felt like playing a really mean air guitar.
If you like Aussie Rock you'll love this.
If this song was a piece of clothing it would be Worn skate shoes.
If this song was an animal it would be a wild mustang.
Most likely to be heard playing from next-door’s garage.
My overall verdict: Necessary dosage of a new generation of Australian rock, full of attitude.
Some might sigh and say, oh here’s another Aussie garage band and overlook this treat called Crash Palace, I beg of you…don’t. These five guys hail from suburban Melbourne and have been making their mark on local rock for a few years. However when American rock legends Creed toured with their Weathered tour in March and the supporting band had to pull out Crash Palace stepped up and filled some mighty big shoes. I was there and these guys are great live. And not to mention impressive under the pressure.
Their solid, grungy guitar chords and strong vocals make up a fun album but isn’t terribly distinctive from other bands of their calibre. However unlike most bands of their sound who have very flat boring, and “ordinary” acoustic tracks, Crash Palace has thrown stunningly brilliant acoustic tracks that Australian rock has been dearly missing. “Two Kinds” and “Crop Circles” are some of the best acoustic tracks to hit our stereos.
Another factor that makes Crash Palace so special and could be they key to their future success is their decision to move away from vocal dominating tracks. Instead guitar has taken prime place in most of the tracks. So it is perfect for those who enjoy sole guitar, but also like vocals. For example on “Come On” half the song is dedicated to solo guitar.
But every album has it’s faults, and Crash Palace I feel becomes very weak after track eight (out of a 14 track album), especially such a powerful opening and body, but it does pick up with tracks twelve and thirteen and then finishes strongly with “Separate Ways”.
Personal favourites and recommendations, “Two Kinds”, “Come On”, “Whatever Gets You Through”, and “One In A Million” However they are all good songs.
I give Crash Palace 5 out of 5.