The Cry - beautiful reasons
Self Released 1990
Nowadays, borrowing the sound from the early 80s and putting a modern twist on it is so commonplace, it's almost the norm for indie. The Cry was doing this in 1990, going unnoticed. This little known California punk group was virtually unknown outside of small circles of skaters who owned the skate video Hokus Pokus, yet the may have been the most important band of their era. One listen to this syrupy-sweet album, and you'll be hooked for life.
The album starts, for some reason, with my least favorite track, "Twist of Fate." It's not too bad, but still could have been cut from such a great album, being a bit too overproduced and cheesy for my tastes. If you skip this track, you'll be in for the treat of your life. The next track, "Truth," revs up with a Blue Monday-esque synth beat but then stops on a dime blossoming into a track so catchy, (yet gloomy) it would put Morrisey to shame.
Song number three is "Alone," (the song from the skate video) a song awash in chorus, groovy bass, and a nice piano riff in the background to hold that sandwich of sound together. "Looking Glass" is a song that lights up my 14 year old life. Definitely my favorite track from the album, it really shows off the band's punk edge with a tight rhythm section and lots of tremolo picking. A delightfully mopey song, "Lost and Found" tugs on the ol' heartstrings without sounding corny or faked.
The quality of an album can usually be judged by how good the second half is. Many bands put their filler tracks in the back, hoping no one notices. Not so with the Cry. Track 6 demonstrates this well. "Nothing Lost" is a bouncy track sure to put a smile back on your face after the past couple sad songs. "Complete" comes up next, a song filled with Spanish-y guitar. It shows off a lot of vocal harmonies. Sometimes they sound amazing to me, sometimes they're painful to hear. It depends on my mood.
"Between the Lines" boasts possibly one of the greatest keyboard sections I've ever had the pleasure of listening to, and "Trees" follows it up with a Johhny Marr guitar part that seems heaven sent. It also has a violin, earning it some more brownie points. "Resolution" does exactly what its name implies. It sums up all the musical ground The Cry covered here. The lyrics sound more profound than ever. "How quickly I would say to you/ how quickly I would die for you/ I'd never hear those words from you."