Label: Bella Union Release date: 20/09/10 Link: Myspace Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify As I’m sure you’ve already heard,Abe Vigoda have ditched their tropical punk roots for a new, post-punk sound. And what a sound that is. I’m not saying that the previous sound found so comfortably on Sky Route or even Skeleton is bad or poorly thought out – I love those albums – but this new sound is not unwelcome. While they were evolving before, there were hints of it going stale and, to be perfectly honest, I was not looking forward to this album. I would hate to hear the death knells in one of the great bands of this century, and so playing this and hearing Abe Vigoda, but hearing them being (not trying to be) something new and different was welcome and uplifting. What they have broached on Crush is closer to the post punk/new wave movements, with more synth and more exciting new sounds and directions. It’s a sound that works so well and so smoothly, even when switching between sounds and scenes. For example, ’Dream Of My Love (Chasing After You)’ is a perfect example of the wall of noise sound of the post punk scene, with the slow vocals drowning in the overwhelming noise, while title track ’Crush’ is closer to the Echo and The Bunnymen circa Porcupine, but with more energy and excitement. Equally, it’s not like they’ve completely abandoned their tropical punk roots, for example, ’Throwing Shade’ is not far removed from their previous stuff, but with more impetus and urgency. The other striking thing about Crush is how complete it is as an album. There are no duff songs – not even a weaker one – and it all runs into one another in a way that a lot of albums in the same genre fail to do. The mastery of The Album is rare – if you are making a concept album, then it’s not too bad (well, normally it’s pretty bad, but the songs will be in a coherent order), so it’s even more surprising to see that an album can be so well made in a genre that’s notoriously so often incomplete and rushed. What Crush leaves us with is a real sense of achievement. It is the next natural evolution from the pre 1984’s post punk; it holds all the sharpness and energy that made XTC and Echo and The Bunnymen great, and then runs with it, pushing it hard enough to make something fresh and new. Photobucket