Don’t let the cover art for Fort Wayne-based Krimsha’s debut full-length album, Make Believe, fool you. Despite the footprints-in-the-sand cover and vaguely wispy title, the music contained within dwells more closely to the concept-heavy alt rock of Coheed and Cambria than anything that may be released by Greek new age maestro Yanni. The band, two-time finalists in the annual whatzup Battle of the Bands and whose debut has been highly anticipated locally, keep their feet firmly planted within the territory of contemporary hard rock.The connection between the music and the cover art, title and many of the song titles (“Wake Me Up,” “Eclipse,” “Pretend”) comes from Krimsha’s distinctively airy and atmospheric approach to contemporary hard rock. Their signature, dreamy sound is light but alluring, punctuated with moments of tension and punch. While Krimsha spend most of the CD somewhere in between the troposphere and the mesosphere, the band does occasionally drop down to earth to find some gruffer territory, especially in terms of vocals and guitar breaks, but they don’t typically dwell there for long. Their breezy style comes across at first as almost effortless, but a closer listen reveals a great deal of variety in terms of songcraft, style and sonic texture.
It’s these little touches and savvy attention to detail that set the recording apart from your typical local band, and a young one at that, but they also highlight the album’s primary downfall. Namely, that much of the album blends together such that the listener could listen from beginning to end without discerning where one song ends and the next begins, especially considering the possible over-reliance on its patented soft-loud-soft dynamic.
Overall, though, the album comes across as remarkably accomplished, especially for a local band, and is worth checking out for anyone interested in the local scene or for atmospheric hard rock in general. Fans of bands like Rush, Pink Floyd and, strangely enough the Cure, might be especially pleasantly surprised. And maybe now that Krimsha have demonstrated its command of mood and atmosphere on Make Believe, they’ll add a little more songwriting crunch for good measure next time around.
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March 27 • The Clyde