Spreading The Rock ‘N’ Roll Disease
For an outfit that’s been doing the rounds for the better part of the last eight years, and have two previous releases to their name (2008’s ‘We Are The Future’ and 2011’s ‘Dreamer’), I’m surprised that I haven’t heard Sydney (Australia) based outfit Crosson before now. But as they say, it’s better late than never and here I am with Crosson’s latest E.P. effort ‘Spreading The Rock ‘N’ Roll Disease’.
Crosson (Who comprise of band members vocalist/guitarist Jason Crosson, guitarist Joel McDonald, bassist/backing vocalist John Katirtsides, drummer Jordan McDonald and backing vocalist Amanda Easton) have described themselves as theatrical rock, and if you were to judge a book by its cover, then they wouldn’t be far off the mark. But if you delve a little deeper and listen to what the band have to offer, then you’ll find it’s something completely different altogether.
The opening title track ‘Spreading The Rock ‘N’ Roll Disease’ gives a clear indication of what kind of music Crosson has to offer listeners, and it’s hard rock with a distinctly ‘80’s edge. But while it sounds appealing, Crosson don’t quite pull it off completely. Sure, the guitar solo is noteworthy, and the reverse cymbal effects during the breakdown is a cool blast from the past (I’m thinking of a track from Poison, and delivered courtesy of legendary mixer Duane Baron), but overall the song sounds flat and generic (Particularly on the lyrical front). Crosson’s vocals don’t help matters much with his Doc Neeson (The Angels) like snarl, which is at best, something that takes some getting used to.
The follow-up track ‘All About The Music’ (Which is the first promotional video clip filmed from the E.P.) fares a little better than the opener with its Kiss-like influences and female backing vocals, but is dragged down with Crosson’s lower register vocals (Which brings to mind a poor man’s Andrew Eldritch), while ‘Lies’, although still adhering to standard ‘80’s hard rock clichés, is without a doubt the strongest cut on the E.P. with its catchy anthem-like choruses and solid riffs.
Despite the band’s best attempts to keep the consistency of the former track flowing through to ‘Take Another Shot’, the song drifts without anything remarkable being added to make it stand out, while the attempt at adding a punk touch to ‘Taxman’ on the vocals is a complete disaster.
Finishing up the E.P. is ‘I’m Not Afraid’, which is again a good example of the lead guitar work on the E.P. that’s executed with class, but also the lack of song writing finesse to back it up.
While the band don’t take themselves too serious, it has to be said that the song writing is cliché and unremarkable, and Crosson’s vocals are sometimes hard to take.
In the end, I can’t say that ‘Spreading The Rock N Roll Disease’ is entirely terrible. It has its moments, even if they only appear briefly. But at the end of the day, this is hardly the kind of release that I’m likely to play after writing up this review, and that says more about the E.P. than anything else I could possible add here.
For more information on Crosson, check out - http://www.crosson.com.au/
© Justin Donnelly