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Album Review

The Crabs' second album on Calvin Johnson's K records continued the duo's unique mix of guitar, drums, and vocals that began on their debut, Jackpot. Lisa Jackson continues her drumming duties, singing an understated and composed lead vocal on songs like "Sad Song" and "Speechless." John Lunsford's vocals on songs like "Anything & Everything" energize the band's musical repertoire. His vocals are similar to Johnson's in Beat Happening, despite the music being an extra dose of pop. On the title track, listeners get the first example of the duo's uncanny harmonies. The harmonizing is more focused and clean on "Unforgivable." Just when the musical ingredients seem predictable, the band offers "Prom Night," an instrumental number with Ryan Stotz on saxophone. Songs like "Meltdown" and "Speechless" are classic Crabs, led by Lunsford's crunchy guitar work and his baritone vocals. While most of the songs on Brainwashed are straightforward indie rock, focusing on the frustrations of everyday life, "Jean Paul Sartre" is a catchy, almost biographical song about the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher. The album ends with another instrumental, the edgy "Quicksand." The album was recorded at Moon Studios in Oregon. Pat Maley of Yo Yo Recordings performs organ and bells on the album.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

The Portland, Oregon-based indie pop duo the Crabs comprised singer/guitarist Jonn Lunsford and singer/drummer Lisa Jackson. After a pair of EPs, Dreamboat and Sore, issued on the Knw-Yr-Own label (owned by Lunsford's brother Bret, himself a founding member of Beat Happening as well as the frontman of D+), the Crabs signed to K Records to issue their 1995 LP, Jackpot. Brainwashed followed a year later, and...
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Brainwashed, The Crabs
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