The Cryptics - Continuous New Behavior (Cover Artwork)

The Cryptics

Continuous New Behavior (2013)

Portnow Intertainment Group

Sometimes when you happen to catch a band live and the sound engineer, or in this case, the PA guy, was spending more time publicly complaining to anyone who would listen that he wasn't home tending to his "very pregnant girlfriend" or outside smoking instead of manning the club's PA when he's on the clock, you might pass on the band altogether. While the sound of The Cryptics' live performance left a lot to be desired, I picked up Continuous New Behavior anyway and I'm glad I did. It's a great punk rock album that's strong from start to finish. It's even strong in the middle! On their second album, The Cryptics deliver and while they sound somewhat familiar, it's hard to really place why. The music, the lyrics and the arrangements are great. Without falling into the punk n' roll territory, which can get rather dull very quickly, there's just enough roll and attitude to make this a good album to speed down a highway to.

For a three-piece, The Cryptics make a lot of noise and do it well. "Time to Kill Time" kicks off Continuous New Behavior and one of the most important things you'll notice immediately is that you can hear what lead singer Tino Valpa is actually singing, which is reminiscent of listening to Greg Graffin's vocal delivery, only because you can generally understand him without reading along to the lyrics.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is the closing track. "Leads to Betrayal." and the title cut just before it. "Leads to Betrayal" is a massive (in punk terms) five-minute opus that starts slow and reaches a steady uptempo beat that is maintained for the remainder of the track. Closing on a high note is a good thing, hitting the repeat button is so much easier that way. This is still not the longest track, that honor goes to the just under six minute "Flat World," which almost sounds like it's the result of a few different songwriting ideas but the final result is a good one. There's enough going on that you don't even realize it's that long of a song.

Whether or not it was intentional, "Face the Day" has a nice opening guitar nod to The Vaselines' track "Molly's Lips,"