All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Cranks – What?

The Cranks – What?
2010, The Cranks

Junior high is a tough time; burgeoning hormones, social circles and the pressure of school are relentless. Bands seem to crop up overnight and fade away quickly. It makes The Cranks all the more interesting. The Groton-Dunstable, Massachusetts trio consists of twins Haley Gowland (lead vocals, lead guitar), Connor Gowland (drums, backing vocals) and bassist/backing vocalist Greg Preston. Showing much more poise than your average fourteen and fifteen-year olds, The Cranks write upbeat pop tunes with an alternative twist. Their debut EP, What?, is full of the sort of problems you might expect for a band so young, but also shows a lot of potential.

What? opens with "Long Day", a decent garage pop tune with a solid chorus. Haley Gowland sings of the angst of existing in a moment you wish not to be in, but doesn't sound terribly convinced. "20 Years" is a rough but well-written bit of geek pop/punk that expresses existential ajita over the future and our ability to survive. Things get bland for "Don't Call It Blue" and "Tumble", although The Cranks recover nicely with the pop sensibility inherent in "Something From Nothing". The song features a great chorus and has a lot of potential if fleshed out a bit more. "Almost Dark" starts out promisingly but gets lost in its own even-handed delivery. What winds away with "Be Strong", a song about moving on after a relationship ends. Once again, there is potential here, although the present arrangement is very low-fi and amateurish.

The Cranks are a young band, and it shows on What?. The possibilities buzz in and around lead vocalist Haley Gowland who has a voice that fits in well with 1990's acts like Belly and Throwing Muses. The songs here are rough in writing style and production value, but there's plenty of reason to believe that both conditions will improve in time. In the mean time, the threads of solid songwriting are woven through What?, and The Cranks can look to tomorrow with ideas of better yet to come.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about The Cranks at or What? can be downloaded through Digstation.

No comments: