Saturday, March 3, 2012
Riding in a fresh 80's melodramitic retro pop wave, 21 year old Justin Vallesteros's Idle Labor is filled with teenage themes of heartache and unhappy love. Evidently, Craft Spell's lead has a ton of relationship problems, though he manages to dress up them up nicely. Idle Labor steps aside from its bedroom singer-songwriting predisposition with groovy basslines and lovely reverberating guitars that seem to echo throughout the album; much like the everpresent hum of passing trains.
Vallesteros is a relative newcomer, started releasing material towards the end of 2009 with Party Talk, and following it up 2 years later with Idle Labor has progressed nicely, garnering a fair bit of attention for his efforts. Admittedly, his sound isn't quite there yet, I have the pervading sense that the drums could have been placed to better use, instead of just being. The vocals dealt in a whispery monotone stream places an emphasis of longing in Scandinavian Crush.
Craft Spells seems sonically reminiscent of early New Order (Age of Consent/Temptation/Leave me Alone); tiredness, gloom and drained-out dancing notwithstanding. After the Moment is easy and catchy; you'll want to sway to the beat. Though some songs are just repetitive and not well made, You Should Close the Door for example it does nothing to me. Worry not, cause the other tracks more than makes up for it. All in all, Idle Labor is the first solid material Craft Spells has made, question is: Are they just another blog-worthy band destined to fizzle out within the year?