Crunch: Simple Mind

Crunch have already released one of 2014’s most charming and melancholic pop-rock albums in January’s Futoshita Nichijyo no Koto, but they’ve already followed it up with this EP featuring two new songs and a remix, led by Simple Mind. While a towering, epic tribute to Jim Kerr and Glasgow’s finest would have been something to behold from the fragile Nagoya trio, Simple Mind follows on directly from where Futoshita Nichijyo no Koto left off, with a poppy, octave-straddling vocal melody over new wave-inflected guitars and a rhythm section that nods towards funk and dance music, but none of the constituent parts pull apart to the extent of compromising the essentially pop core.

Holiday is a more sparse affair, beginning with call-and-response vocals playing out over a lone guitar, the rest of the instruments gradually coming in to fill out the arrangement. Rather than being formed in a traditional verse-chorus structure, Holiday uses the interplay of the different layers to create its dynamic. The EP also features a remix by Nagoya electronic producer Fredricson that takes a similarly layered approach to reworking the title track, with the additional of a heavy, stripped-down beat and sparse synth loops and effects and cut-up vocal samples that on occasion reduce Noyiyo Hotta’s voice to more texture than words.

More an appendix to the band’s previous release than a next chapter, it’s nonetheless pleasing to see Crunch following Futoshita Nichijyo no Koto up so swiftly and Simple Mind suggests there’s more to come.

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