Breakups suck, guys. That said, there’s always some good that comes out of a breakup. You lose some weight, you buy some new clothes, you meet some cool people, and you really discover what things have been missing from your life recently. The same logic goes for artistic cliques and groups, which sometimes can tie you down to a specific aesthetic that doesn’t necessarily jive with who you really are. A good example of this is Andy Hamm’s exeunt from local ~*~kEwL bUzZ BaNd~*~ Local Natives. It all went down a few years ago and, in appropriate breakup fashion, Andy gave himself a makeover and has returned to the local music scene as A. Crusher, a more complicated and–frankly–more interesting rock act that he’s steering.
Releasing a handful of singles and sharing them on his Melting Bodies website, Andy has defined what his new aesthetic is. It’s part light rock and part synthed-up vague goth tunes that all suggest a certain amount of maturing over the past few years. He’s not holding anything back in his work since his lyrics feel like earnest status updates on current events for him. His earliest song “Dull Boy” plays most directly to this, him explaining how he’s basically had to refind himself and seek out forgiveness for past transgressions. Musically, it starts as a piano tune that slowly settles into a prickly synthetic duet between piano and computer. “The Feast” builds off of “Dull,” turning remorse into anger with the lyrics, “You took the rug out from under me / You knocked the air from my lungs.” It plays similarly with piano and synth, done in a more ghostly fashion. He also has some wail-sing moments that show some of his delightful vocal dexterity. “Pebbles Massive” gets at the eventual coping in the most rock-related of his songs and experiment “Phone Message” shows off an Ariel Pink-ish sense of humor.
Yeah, okay, sure: his work could just be about a really bad break-up or something equally as annoying. Regardless, A. Crusher’s work seems like such a leap away from his Local Natives peers that the two cannot not be compared. Crusher has a more progressive sound and, frankly, is more exciting. Breakups can be great and this is one of those situations where that is especially true. You’re going to want to keep an eye on A. Crusher: he’s just getting started. Get more of him from his Facebook and Soundcloud.