Crash Street Kids - ‘Sweet Creatures’

 


THE BAND:
Ryan McKay - lead vocals, guitars, orchestral arrangement
A.D. Adams - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Deuce Gregory - bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Bad! Yeah, Bad!”
Ricky Serrano - guitars, backing vocals


TRACK FRAGMENTS:
            act I:
1.) “Sweet Creatures” - The intro to this track opens with a snare drum fill.  For the main musical intro section there is a small musical rest that consisted of a A.D. playing a cymbal choke to connect the next measure. The rhythm guitar riff of the main musical intro had a heavy Johnny Ramone of the The Ramones feel to it.  Ricky’s rhythm guitar change of the musical verse consisted of fill-in chords.  This lets not only lets Ryan’s vocals carry the verse this also highlights his vocal talent.  Ricky plays a small pick slide effect to connect the musical verse with the musical pre-chorus.  In fact he not only plays a pick slide before the first lyric line however he also plays one after the first one.  There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  A.D. Switches from a standard hi-hat rhythm to a rhythm played on his tom-toms for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus, the band switches the musical arrangement back to the opening chorus.  Underneath Ryan’s vocals of the musical chorus Ricky plays several minor lead guitar licks.  For the second musical pre-chorus the band switches the pick slides out for tom-tom fills.  The lead guitar solo was shot but effective.      
2.) “Asylum” - This track opens with a lead vocal line over the top of a snare crack.  Everything about this verse was jus dripping with sweet hooks.  The rhythm guitar riffs are laced in between the lyric lines.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus.  The chorus of this track has to be one of the best well-written choruses I have ever heard!!!!!  It sounded like Ryan used a studio effect for his vocals on the second verse.  After the second chorus Ricky plays a lead guitar solo it sounded as if some of the notes where double-tracked.  The coda consisted of a twin lead guitar solo by both Ryan & Ricky.
3.) “Bang, Bang! (You’re Beautiful)” - On a sale of 1-10 this track is a 100!
4.) “Sad Julia” - The intro to this track consisted of a very simple rhythm guitar riff.  The musical change of the verse and the way the band phrased the lyrics was very reminiscent to something Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) would have written.  There is a small rhythm change for the musical chorus.  After the second chorus there was drastic musical change where the band slowed the music down to lead into the lead guitar solo.  Don’t let the fact that this track was fairly straight forward fool you it is equally as good as the rest of the songs on the release.
5.) “Bad! Yeah, Bad!” - Deuce sings this track. This track opens with a very simple rhythm guitar riff.  A tom-tom pattern kicks-in on the second riff.  For the third riff Ryan kicks-in a second rhythm guitar riff this riff is different from the first.  There was a short drum fill connecting the intro with the musical verse. For the musical verse both Ryan and Ricky play the same rhythm guitar arrangement.  For the musical chorus Ryan switches his guitar rhythm while Ricky begins playing little lead guitar runs.  Ryan’s guitar rhythm was done with a palm muting effect.  There was a pick slide connecting the second verse with the second chorus.  Ryan plays a lead guitar solo connecting the second and third chorus.      
6.) “3rd Avenue Vampires” -The piano that opens this track along with Ryan’s lead vocal lines are very reminiscent to the stuff the band where written on their first release titled, ‘Transatlantic Suicide’.  Starting at the last lyric of the opening lyric line a second synthesizer kicks-in underneath the piano.  This synthesizer gives the opening pre-verse depth by fill-in the empty spaces.  For the musical verse the band kicks the song in with a very subtle laid back musical arrangement.  There is a small drum fill connecting the verse with the chorus.  Underneath the chorus Ricky plays a very simple lead guitar solo.  There is a small breakdown that consisted of several vocal accents.  The song structure of this song was just amazing!  Ricky plays a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.     
           act II:
7.) “Mary, Queen Of Rock” - This intro consisted of a snare drum rhythm underneath a very simple rhythm guitar riff.  Too me I felt this had an early seventies Sweet feel to it.  The band used the same arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the musical verse.  There was a rhythm guitar and drum line change for the musical pre-chorus.  The chorus had a sweet hook attached to it!  After the first chorus the musical arrangement repeats itself through the rest of the song which was fine with me.  There was a saxophone solo after the second chorus.  This track would make a great encore song.
8.) “I Become Death” - The musical verse of this track had a very simple feel to it.  There was a rhythm guitar change and drum line change for the pre-chorus.  There was a very short musical rest connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there is a small breakdown section that consisted of a snare fill.  This leads to a lead guitar solo. 
9.) “Angel” - Just an amazing well structured semi-ballad.
10.) “I Was A Teenage Hooker” -This track consisted of no intro arrangement.  The drum line of the pre-verse is a mixture of tom-tom rhythms and standard hi-hat rhythms.  The rhythm guitar arrangement follows along with the lyric line arrangement.  There is an arrangement change for the musical verse.  The rhythm change and lyric arrangement change of the musical chorus gives this track a sweet hook.  After the first chorus there is a very short rhythm change connecting it to the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a very laid back sweet lead guitar solo. 
11.) “Harlot Of Flies” - The rhythm guitar that opens this intro was done with what sounded like a talk box effect.  Underneath the rhythm guitar A.D. is playing a sixteenth-note hi-hat pattern.  The band not only used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the intro however, they also added a second palm muting guitar rhythm.  There is a rhythm change for the pre-chorus and chorus arrangements.  The main drum line was done with a tom-tom pattern.  There is a small rattlesnake effect that leads into the lead guitar solo.  Ricky & Ryan both play a twin lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.


     Sometime in 2009 the President & CEO of Head First Entertainment (http://headfirstentertainment.com/ andhttp://www.facebook.com/headfirstentertainment) sent me a promotional package of an up and coming band called Crash Street Kids and their freshman release titled, ‘Transatlantic Suicide’.  I am paraphrasing here however, in the review I think I said something to the effect of the Crash Street Kids should be band of 2009 with ‘Transatlantic Suicide’ argumentatively ranking up there as not only one of the best CD’s released in the new millennium but of all-time!  People would asked, who they reminded me of? An my response would be David Bowie’s alter personality ‘Major Tom’ mixed with heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll with just a jigger of Punk.  After just one taste and you would become a Crash Street Kids addict!
     When the same President  & CEO of Head First Entertainment now also President & CEO of Vanity Music Group (http://www.vanitymusicgroup.com/  and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanity-Music-Group/133300660046442) asked me to review Crash Street Kids new release titled, ‘Sweet Creatures’.  I jumped at the chance to review it.  In the course of our conversation, I ask his opinion of comparing the two.  His response was something to the effect of, ‘Sweet Creatures’ blows ‘Transatlantic Suicide’ away!  As my friend of fifteen years said this, I could not help but roll my eyes thinking, “yea yea I’ve heard this before”.   However, once again I will shake my head saying I will never learn and bow to the master!!! 
     There is not one bad song on ‘Sweet Creatures’!  A friend asked me the other day what my opinion of the CD was and my response was simple, “Holy Shit what an album!  If you don’t own it then your not a fan of rock!!!!!!