It’s rather fitting that upstart band Crinkles would choose to name themselves after a chocolaty treat. If you really think about it, cookies are the true class of sweets, goodies that offer maximum pleasantness with that first joyous bite. The same can be said for the bands lo-fi new-Americana sound. In the end, though, the band’s latest release, the Know Nothing EP, is much closer to cookies in a less appealing way: After gorging yourself, you’re left feeling full of something without much substance to it.
Not every morsel the band offers up will leave a bad taste in the listeners mouth, though. Album opener “I’m a Dog” wonderfully captures the core of some of the more pleasing aspects of the band’s sound. The guitar and synth marry brilliantly, swelling upward and upward toward a truly elated, blissful sound. The vocals and the overall mood are decidedly more removed and distant, however, evoking a sense of forlorn. That mixture, along with some apropos howling at the end, make for a truly delightful pop-rock experience.
But there’s only so much you can do with a hybrid sensibility before it goes awry, as it does on “Elevator”. Here, that dynamic found in “I’m a Dog” has become soggy, too weak to stand on its own, sounding like a disorganized mishmash of wimpy rock. The remaining three tracks on the EP suffer some combination of the previously described phenomenon and end up being utterly unmemorable.
Whether this is a misstep by a band with some promise or just another subpar, fruit-filled offering in the heart-shaped box of chocolates that is rock remains to be seen. But at least for the Know Nothing EP, it may be best to avoid Crinkles entirely in your search for sonic nourishment. Perhaps a nice salad instead?