Abe Vigoda | Crush

Post Present Medium (2010)
By REYAN ALI  |  September 28, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Over the past three years, Abe Vigoda have made some serious progress, going from California kids making cryptic but pretense-free DIY clatter to the sole opening band on one of Vampire Weekend's national tours. Trailing them on that rise has been "tropical punk," a joke term that a member of Abe came up with to describe their music. Problem is, tropical punk so cleverly encapsulates 2008's Skeleton — unkempt rock coated with the luminous gleam of unusual guitar effects — that it's become a legit go-to phrase when discussing the band. Last year, Abe Vigoda's Reviver EP nudged the tag away by playing with more-sinister elements. Now, Crush tries to shove it out a fifth-floor window. Glittery synths color everything with the dank glow of post-punk and goth rock. The old sense of production chaos is absent, replaced with precisely carved feelings of mystery and gloom. Guitarist/vocalist Michael Vidal still moans and groans like a feistier incarnation of Robert Smith, but his voice is far more mature and worn than it was on Skeleton. Most of Crush swerves in odd directions: a song might begin by strutting and making itself up as it preps for dance-floor theatrics, then suddenly break down and be overcome with feelings of listlessness and despair. The band do fluidly navigate between ideas and structural experiments here, only occasionally overdosing on their newfound taste for moping and melancholy. In short, Crush turns tropical punk into a simplistic and inaccurate characterization. And escaping that albatross means good things for Abe Vigoda's future.

Related: No Age | Everything In Between, Interview: Alice Bag of Stay at Home Bomb, Nite Jewel | One Second of Love, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Los Angeles, Punk Rock,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
    In the arena of charming and entertaining indie-music figures, Marnie Stern stands unopposed.
  •   NO REST FOR BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD  |  March 13, 2013
    Blackbird Blackbird's 2012 EP Boracay Planet takes its name from two sources: Boracay — a beach-filled, postcard-perfect island in the Philippines — and a dream Mikey Maramag had about the tourist trap, despite never having visited.
  •   WILD BELLE PUSH MAGICAL BUTTONS  |  February 11, 2013
    Wild Belle's multi-ethnic allegiances — Afropop, reggae, and rocksteady — fuse into American indie-pop and classic rock. Results are, at varying times, tropical, tepid, and tempestuous.
  •   THE LUMINEERS AIM FOR THE RAFTERS  |  February 01, 2013
    Jeremiah Fraites isn't famous — at least not yet. The drummer of the Lumineers, the folk trio who experienced an outrageously fruitful 2012, is talking to me two days before appearing on the January 19 Saturday Night Live, but he doesn't sound convinced that his band have crossed the fame threshold.
  •   PHANTOM GLUE COME INTO FOCUS  |  January 23, 2013
    Variations of "nightmarish" and "psychedelic" come up repeatedly as Matt Oates describes his band's work — which makes sense, given that Phantom Glue trace their roots back to Slayer, the Jesus Lizard, and cult post-hardcore act KARP.

 See all articles by: REYAN ALI