Monday, August 11, 2008

Crumb - Romance is a Slowdance
(1996, Warner Bros.)

Though San Francisco's Crumb began as the acoustic project of duo Mark Weinberg and Robby Cronholm in 1993, it had evolved into a full electric quartet by the time they were gearing up for their 1994 self released debut "Happy Blah". However, this lineup would prove to be unstable at best, as the band had a revolving cast of bassists and drummers. I have to assume that the band was without a drummer when it came time to record their Qwest/Warner Brothers 1996 release "Romance is a Slow Dance", as the album's drum tracks were provided by noted session drummers Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Devo, The Vandals) and Joey Waronker (Beck, Elliott Smith, Walt Mink), respectively.

Lyrically, the songs on "Romance..." deal mostly with a specific break up of singer Robby Cronholm; one that just so happened to be with famed actress Chloe Sevigny, whom he dated briefly prior to her breakout role in the film Kids in 1995. The relationship may not have lasted long, but it apparently left quite a mark on Cronholm, inspiring the largely dark tone of the album. Musically, Crumb straddled the line between mainstream post-grunge ala Our Lady Peace and the 90s emo of early Jimmy Eat World (Jimmy Eat World's Jim Adkins would later contribute vocals to Crumb's next record). Perhaps the best comparison is to the similarly under appreciated band, Far, whom Crumb did some touring with.  Some years later, Crumb's Mark Weinberg would form the band Gratitude with Far singer Jonah Matranga (also of Onelinedrawing and New End Original), who released one record on Atlantic before going their separate ways.

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6 comments:

Hoofomobile said...

This blog is love at first sight!! Are you planning to post only major-label albums? Just curious, nothing wrong with that, of course. Thanks. Cheers!

Alex said...

hey there - glad you enjoy the blog!
I do think i'll be keeping a focus on major label or major affiliated releases... mainly because I havent seen many other blogs out there with that kind of a specialization. I'll definitely be throwing some more indie releases in here too in future.

Sarah A. said...

The song in this video sounds exactly like another song that I cannot place to save my life...I will let you know when I discover what it is...

Justin said...

Robby Cronholm's antics in this video are the main reason why I didn't hesitate to pick up a used copy of this album the morning after seeing this video on 120 Minutes during its original release. I thought about the subject matter and pictured myself behaving the same way. Oh, my teenage years...

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Karl Bakla said...

I love this album!