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Crash Kings

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Album Review

Crash Kings occupy a curious unclaimed space between the White Stripes and Ben Folds Five — a space unclaimed not so much because nobody thought of it, but nobody really wanted it. Crash Kings boldly go where no group has gone before, and after the bluster of the opening "Mountain Man" — a modern-rock makeover of "My Doorbell," a track where producer Dave Sardy leans heavily on his work with Wolfmother — fades, it's clear that no matter how much fuzz bass the band piles up, Crash Kings lean a bit too heavily on the Folds part of the equation, loving his pounding eighth notes and clever-clever wit. Fortunately, the band has a bit of a melodic flair, too, not so much writing big, anthemic pop hits and ballads but the kind of twisty, winding lines that piano-bound popsters tend to favor. All this does mean that Crash Kings are most intriguing when they play up the Stripes part of their equation — when they get loud, as they do on "14 Arms," or when they mimic the Whites' thud and caterwaul as they do on "You Got Me" — because that's when they don't seem like another politely pressed and pleasant piano pop band.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Formed in 2006 in Los Angeles, the Crash Kings combine the rock & roll bombast of Muse with the piano-based pop of Ben Fold’s Five. The brainchild of brothers Tony Beliveau (vocal/keyboards) and Mike Beliveau (bass), who had been playing music together all their lives, the pair wanted to see if they could capture the big sound of rock music without actually using guitars. Recruiting drummer Jason Morris, who had played with the brothers Beliveau in previous bands, the band set to work writing. Using...
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Crash Kings, Crash Kings
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