Imagine an alternative or indie supergroup that does not take itself too seriously. Cryptacize are a West coast band fronted by ex-members of Deerhoof and Kill Rock Stars solo artist Nedelle Torrisi. So far so good, but what makes them stand out is their ability to fool around with different styles – often within the same song – without sounding all over the place.
Cryptacize bash out Sixties pop, electronic sounds, shoegazer indie rock, a hint of ska and a dash of new wave that owes a nod to Gang Of Four or the Au Pairs. Don’t look for a clear direction or style on Mythomania – there is none. In most cases this would result in a pretty half-baked excuse of an album, but Cryptacize somehow carry it off, using ideas and playfulness as the glue that keeps Mythomania together.
At this stage, album reviews usually resort to lauding the -sheer energy’ of the band in question. It is not energy so much, rather an intense nerdy-ness that drives this album. Nerdy in the vein of David Byrne stuttering his way through an insistent -Psycho Killer’ back in ’77 or Jonathan Richman cracking up on the -Astral Plane’ in -76.
Cryptacize have the edgy quality of artists who are not entirely comfortable with what they are doing, always pushing that little bit further. By the way, despite the references, Cryptacize are no nostalgia act. On the contrary, theirs is a fresh take on old records heard through unsentimental ears.
Cryptacize are Torrisi, a solo artist signed to the Kill Rock Stars stable, on guitar and vocals; former Deerhoof guitarist and current Curtains member Chris Cohen on guitar; Michael Carreira on drums, and Aaron Olson on bass. They are currently on tour in Europe. They will play Whelan’s in Dublin on 29th May.