CD review: SEROTONIN CRUSH
By: Dan Brisebois
A powerful ability to blend pounding backbeats, frenzied but controlled guitar work, and lyrics consciously written to invoke emotions in a complete package are the core of Serotonin Crush's self-titled debut.
Hailing from Calgary, the group began in late '09 when high school friends Ryan Farkas and Jeremy Spencer put together some slick, powerful hard rock tunes. With Farkas on vocals and guitars and Spencer on bass, they filled out the lineup with drummer Bill Zembiak, and hit the road. They haven't really stopped since then, playing across western Canada. In between shows where they've developed a reputation for an energetic vigor leaving few if any unsatisfied, this trio has found time to put out one of 2010's best indie efforts.
They produced the album themselves, boasting 14 tracks written from personal experiences - a great mix of hard edged rock, melodic moments when appropriate, relatable and well-thought out lyrics, and diverse influences.
The lead off track "Come Alive" and "We're Gonna Make It" are great representations of what can only be a bright future for this trio, showcasing their ability to seamlessly shift gears. The instrumental "Rendezvous In May" features a moving piano spotlight and tight orchestration, and the same tight production lends itself to the haunting "Never Say Goodbye."
"Falling Down," "Shout It Out," and "So Far Gone" are reminiscent of a cross between Green Day and Weezer meets Led Zeppelin, maybe with some Oasis thrown in - simplified pop tunes with attitude. But they're just a couple of highlights. "Words" conveys sort of an 'I love you, but to hell with you' message few people can't relate to. "Zen" portrays the same emotions, but on the opposite side of the spectrum asking for a lost love to come back.
There's not a weak track on this album, amazing considering their relative recent appearance on the scene. Yet several tracks stand out above the rest. "Monkey Man," the tale of a day in the life of a rock and roll wannabe, with slick production and searing guitar work, and the acoustically driven ballad "We'll Be Together" are perfect fits in regular rotation on new rock radio.