Man of the Flood: Crystal Bawl
'Crystal Bawl' sounds like a big radio record
A couple of Fishers transplants arrive in Fort Wayne to further their education at Purdue Fort Wayne. These transplants, Clayton Beehler and Quinn Heiking, decided that while they were chasing academia, they’d also chase that elusive rock n’ roll dream. So the two longtime best friends started Man of the Flood, being joined by Saber Agnew, Brad Steinley, and Jess Grant.
After recording EPs in a dorm room, Man of the Flood’s first full-length album is big and bold, and recorded outside the confines of PFW’s Student Housing. Recorded at PFW Sweetwater Music Center under Purdue Fort Wayne’s Gold Top Music label, GoldTop Records, Man of the Flood have made a super-slick indie rock album that blends all the hooks and studio sheen you’ll need.
Crystal Bawl sounds like a big radio record, if those even exist anymore. It’s quirky enough to attract the prestige music fans, the ones that never seem to like anything that’s “popular,” while also giving those that just want a great melody and hook to accompany them on a Friday night.
“Premonitions” is a wonky little instrumental that leads into the propulsive “Shotgun,” a big rocker with shimmering guitars and busy drums. “Not My Year” is the perfect late-night track, coated in melancholy and longing. The sparse production and tinkling keys put this in Joji and Djo territory. “Sixth Man, Third Eye” closes the 10-song debut on a wistful note. Great vocal harmonies, jangly guitar, and keys make it a candidate for future playlists.
Crystal Bawl is a pretty impressive thing. Catchy songs, perfect mesh of vibes, and an impressive sonic palate that shows us a band that know a thing or two about songwriting. Touches of funk, alt rock, and blue-eyed soul come together in an extraordinary way.