Although it’s probably not the most enviable of compliments Dig That Treasure, the debut album by Cryptacize, proven a fine soundtrack to my current state of cold/flu recovery. The most likely reason has more to do with me than the band. As one not noted for my patience with people or artists I have no choice but to consciously slow down when I’m under the weather. Chances are good that the reason I caught a cold in the first place was too much burning at both ends. It would be tempting to say that that’s neither here nor there but, as the case is, it is very much here.
The band (made up of ex-Deerhoof member Chris Cohen, Nedelle Torrisi and Michael Carreira) creates music that takes up residence in fuzzy, half-sleep. Significantly, though, that’s not to be taken as implying a psychedelic or other-worldly experience. Rather, the band’s spartan, economical music is devoid of the cluttered intensity that occupies so much of waking life. There’s nothing on here that couldn’t have been fleshed out into a full-on rock arrangement but neither does Dig That Treasure sound like the band is holding anything back. The songs get the treatment they deserve which is attention to detail even when, at times, it seems like the details are incidental.
For example, the choppy introduction to “Heaven is Human” is a worn rock cliche that many quiet bands turn to as an ironic joke. Cryptacize, however, weaves the riff back into the song by the middle in a way that was completely unexpected by me. The effect is such that by the second or third time hearing the song the riff creates a state of anticipation rather then the feeling it needs to be gotten through.
What’s so lovely about Dig That Treasure, for me, is that it has served as a poignant reminder that so much lives in details; in the things that are easily overlooked. Had I not been hopped up on cold medicine, lying in bed and listening I would have most likely missed it. It’s not an album to be rushed through. Neither, however, is it a particularly challenging record. In many ways, and this is meant as a compliment, it simply is. Although, thematically, the album is not without tension, it’s not a workout.
My earlier point about Dig That Treasure proving to be a great listen while stuck in bed has a lot more to do with my own habits than anything else. What I meant is that I was forced to slow down in order to let it grab me. And I don’t think that’s an unfair assessment of the album as a whole. Although Cryptacize will likely be everywhere (both critically speaking and as a live act) by year’s end the bands music exists somewhere on the sidelines, outside the flow of daily traffic.
As such, it is free of the bombast and conscious self-loathing of many other noisemakers. It is, in a word and to repeat myself, a lovely little album that tugs at ones pant leg as if to say, “Hey, give me a listen.”