Crayon

Brick Factory

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In 1994, Crayon took the burgeoning sound of twee pop and added punk elements. Brick Factory, their first and only official album, was the result. Sounding like the Peanuts gone punk, with song titles and subject matter related to Chutes and Ladders, bunnies, algebra, and snow globes, this album is amazing and under-appreciated. That's not to say that Brick Factory is aimed at children, because it's not. There's a great deal of vocals about relationships that would bore any child, and it's hard to tell, but it sounds like there's some profanity in the mix at times. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it's just a suggestion that the album isn't for the youngest members of the family. "Chutes and Ladders" wails and pops around both feedback and gentle vocals, sounding sweet and fierce at the same time. The album is made up of many other similar gems. "The Snap-Tight Wars" is hopelessly lo-fi, twee, noisy, and pleasant. "Pedal" and "Knee-High Susan" are other mini-classics indicative of the overall charm of the album. This kind of music shouldn't work at all, but it somehow transcends both the twee and punk genres. Sean Tollefson and Brad, who's last name isn't provided, basically share vocal duties over the 14 tracks, alternating haphazardly. Tollefson's vocals solidify the twee status of the music; he sings as if he's a fourth grader attending a new school for the first time. Sounding a bit agitated and immature, his vocals are the heart of the album. Brad's vocals are more slurred and angry, but equally entertaining. Everything's held together by catchy choruses, great hooks, and noisy, crunchy guitars. Crayon's Brick Factory is the best twee punk album you'll come across; it's one of the lost classics of the 1990s.

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