21 Jan 2020

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Cruddy - Single Review: I Hear Sirens

05 Oct 2019 // A review by Peter-James Dries

September has come and passed, and you know what that means? It’s time to wake up that guy from Green Day, and for the next edition in Cruddy’s song-a-month musical odyssey (of which September brought us two!).

I’ve been following Cruddy for a while now, and it’s hard to believe I Hear Sirens is the same artist I was introduced to with White Polka Dot Dress back in March. I’m impressed by... not so much the development and progression, they’ve always been good... it’s more the breadth of the Cruddy repertoire, which has been revealed slowly over the past year. In seeing more of them we are getting to know more about the artist and their idiosyncratic aesthetic.

I guess, it’s one thing to be presented with an album of ideas and know straightaway that, oh yep, this artist can do sad songs, happy songs, angry songs, frustrated songs, bored songs. But watching Gillett express a different mood each month, not knowing what the next will be, whether he will bring out his voice (which has grown in confidence over the months) or just play with sound, brings this captivating element of surprise.

Perhaps even to Cruddy. I doubt they plan what will be released each month until they’ve played the thought out and pulled the musical thread until it unravels. How could they know this month would be a sombre, introspective ode? I would call it experimental, but the word implies an element of trial and error, and Cruddy hasn’t failed yet. Instead, I’ll use the word ‘playful’.

The nature of the soundscape, the mode in which Cruddy presents their oeuvre, means there is an element of synesthesia to the work. It’s music that paints a picture. I’m not sure if I’ve made the comparison to NIN’s Ghosts previously, but there’s a touch of that here.

In this month’s feature presentation, I see... defeat. An explosive breakdown, of a relationship or literally. Laying on wet asphalt. Approaching emergency services. An inevitable fracture after false hope, and the cold revelation of vindication; you were right all along.

Does anyone remember that film Hancock? Will Smith is a reluctant superhero, and Jason Bateman’s wife is too, but secretly and like Smith’s character finds out ‘cause she, like, throws him out of the house... As in, right through the wall.

I’m seeing that, which is strange, since I haven’t thought about that film since it was released. Intention is for artists; interpretation for the listener. The dissonance between the two is sometimes striking. It’s sometimes interesting to hear how far from your beginning idea your art takes an audience.

We’re a month away from a year of this project, and the question on everyone’s lips is, what happens in November when we come full circle? Will we see a physical release? An album of the best bits of the year? Round two?

I guess we’ll wait and see.

Until next month.

5 of 5 stars as always for this artist. The production is flawless and clear. The mood is sombre, reflective, and consistent. The voice is getting stronger.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Cruddy

Cruddy is Miles Gillett.
Drummer for Auckland New Zealand band Oyawa.

"Got a lot of time on my hands awaiting this back surgery and fired up the ole' GB3.0.4 recording Console"
What you are hearing are the joys of creative release and the love of being unemployed.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Cruddy


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