Crimson Sweet

Eat the Night

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Taken on their own terms, most of the songs on New York art punk quartet Crimson Sweet's second album are straightforward punk-pop that's part of the lineage that stretches all the way back to the first New York Dolls record. Complete with surprisingly memorable singalong choruses on tunes like the album highlight, "The Wrong Way," and stylistic detours like the semi-funky dance-rock vibe of "Blood Transfusion," the album would easily slot in with the new wave revivalists. However, producer Martin Bisi brings the heavily distorted guitars to the forefront even on comparatively tender songs like the Blondie-ish ballad "Night," and singer Polly Watson has a somewhat grating rasp of a voice, a sore-throat howl that cuts the radio-friendliness quotient of even the poppiest songs at least in half. As a result, Eat the Night is an often-compelling but occasionally tiresome blend of noise and hooks.

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