A+ Electric

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Combining Weezer-esque fuzz rock with Superdrag-ish alternative pop energy and '80s new wave, Crushstory has yet to move past being the sum of their influences with A+Electric. That's not to say that there aren't more than a few altogether inspiring moments -- the bouncy marriage of Rhodes piano and trumpet in "All Natural" and the gorgeously winding melody reminiscent of Elliott Smith on "Sick of Me" find an excellent, if somewhat predictable, pop formula. Only in their best moments, though, do Crushstory deliver on their potential, showing all the pieces necessary to put together an exemplary sound, but still not pushing any particular element far enough to become distinctive. While their songwriting tends to stay in the safe realm of failed relationships, songs about falling in love with 17-year-old girls whose "whole life is a bad scene" lack a certain amount of cleverness. The use of moog synths and the occasional marimba notwithstanding, this can be pretty indecipherable indie rock -- not artistically offensive in any way, but still coming across a little too familiarly at times.

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