Richard Cranium - Richard Cranium (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Richard Cranium

Richard Cranium (2008)


I'm not gonna sit here and pretend I'm a math-rock aficionado. Like, as if Don Caballero is my favorite band ever or something. But when those noodly riffs come cascading in, I can't help but at least be interested.

Such is the case with Richard Cranium and the trio's self-titled debut EP. Richie recall some of the abovementioned and followers like Tera Melos and Maps & Atlases, with spiraling guitar lines, jazzy breaks and complex percussion. They have vocals too, courtesy of 18-year-old Bri-N Brissart, though you can never really tell what he's yelping; it's like if Tim Kinsella circa caP'n Jazz was dropped on his head as a baby too many times…and got way too drunk.

Whatever Brissart is actually saying (I think "hey weirdo!" at one point…and I guess I'm right), it actually accentuates things well, even if he's just cooing another layer above everything. The three-piece provide dizzying guitar circles on (almost-)six-minute opener "Bury St. Edmunds Behind the Royal Exchange," while "The Great Magnet" rides a neat hi-hat rhythm and a jarring time signature change towards its close. "Lights Out at the Inner Sanctum" occasionally and mildly screeches like an old Mars Volta garage session, but shakes the thought with bending guitar notes and fiddling I can only describe as "scrabbly."

Things get a little exhausting by the time closer "Caricature Delicious" winds its way in, but the second half certainly has its moments. Definitely an EP worth checking out if stuff like this typically interests you.

Bury St. Edmunds Behind the Royal Exchange
Lights Out at the Inner Sanctum