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Crash Rickshaw 
Artist: Crash Rickshaw
Label: Tooth and Nail
Length: 10 tracks, 34:54

Crash Rickshaw is a new band featuring Alex Albert (drums) and Steven Dail (guitars & bass) from Project 86.  Rounding out the trio is vocalist/guitarist Joby Harris, whose voice helps make this record one of the best discs of the year. 

The band sounds nothing like Project 86, but is post-punk meets old-school punk at its melodic best.   Featuring heavy drumming, in an almost cadence like manner at times, this disc will grow on you with each listen.  At time it sounds familiar, but not derivative.  You can hear a bit of The Clash and Alarm throughout, but not enough to ruin the effect.  And unlike most of the punk stuff coming out these days, this disc isn't overproduced.  It maintains a raw sound throughout, without sounding low-budget.

Lyrically, they tackle a variety of spiritual issues without sounding preachy.  On "Co-Dependant Idolatry" it's the issue of putting other things before God; on "Angry Sunset" it's an examination of how anger can hurt a relationship; and, on "El Gato" the band looks at moral relativism.

"Time Alone" is a slow, tender look at love within the framework of a God-centered relationship.  Other standouts include the tongue-in-cheek "Thank God I'm an Atheist" and "Johnny Law," a song about legalism and hypocrisy.

If you miss the old days when "alternative" truly was an alternative, rather than an overproduced, assembly-line, cookie cutter product, then check out this disc.

Ken Mueller 12/5/2001



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