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CD Review: Cryptacize - 'Dig That Treasure'

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Artist: Cryptacize
Album: Dig That Treasure
Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records
Release Date: 02/18/2008

Listen to "Cosmic Sing-a-long":
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Cryptacize is a trio from Crockett, CA up in NorCal and Dig That Treasure is their debut album. The trio has interesting instrumentation: drums, harmonica, guitar, autoharp, and strings. The last time I saw an autoharp was in 6th grade music class and the music produced by Cryptacize has a kind of childlike and rough finish to it reminiscent of the DIY movement of the early '90s and bands like Superchunk. Let's be clear here though, this is not rock and roll music - it's a kind of experimental folk with, hey lookie, an autoharp, lots of strumming and vocal harmonies. Nedelle Torrisi has a beautiful voice that is underwritten by the very stable Chris Cohen but I think the sparse instrumentation leaves a bit more to be desired.

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Harmonica, strings, lightly strummed guitar, and autoharp are very treble oriented - there is literally no low end on any of these songs. All the jockeying with your equalizer will not correct this and some might find this irritating but these gentle tunes ended up sounding more like a collection of 11 lullabies than 11 failed experiments. Standout songs on the album are "Heaven is Human" and "Cosmic Sing-a-long" (listen above). The trio will visit LA on June 25th, playing at the Echo, in the meantime, check out the album and MP3s available at Asthmatic Kitty.