It’s been a couple of years since I’ve listened to Crushed Out. Not that I stopped, but because I forgot. In the past few years, there have been quite a few garage-rock duos filling the void since 2016’s Alien Ocean. Then out of nowhere, Crushed Out came up in a conversation I had with Brother O’ Brother’s Christ Banta. He hit me with the news of his Romanus Records label was about to release Crushed Out’s Stay Wild Gator Child on vinyl. Of course, I wanted to hear it and here we are, my Record of The Day.
I was expecting a reverb-laden trip to the beach but what I got was something a little different.
In the past couple years since I’ve listened to Crushed Out, their sound has evolved. While all the hooks and fuzzy goodness are fully present, Stay Wild Gator Child is a horse of another color. Somewhere along the line, they traded the surfboards and sunglasses for swamps and make-shift weapons. That’s not because of the album title and cover art reference such a place either. This is a band who has broadened their approach to production and presence.
There’s something to be said about duos in garage rock. Each and every duo tackles simplicity a different way. Some rely on irreverence like The White Stripes, others feed on chemistry like the aforementioned Brother O’ Brother. Then there’s the psycho variety like White Mystery or The Ghost Wolves, who used unbridled energy as their fuel. Crushed Out seems to have combined all those elements on Stay Wild Gator Child, creating something just as interesting as unique.
Crushed Out’s new found attitude puts them in experimental territory. It’s dark and moody at times but retains the fun they’re known for.
If Alien Ocean was a teenage surf movie, Stay Wild Gator Child is a hot rod Grindhouse flick. There’s an all-around ominous tone and emphasis on atmosphere showing the band is more than retro-flavored pop. Even with “Skateboarding In This Sky” being the most tongue-in-cheek of the bunch, has a darker vibe that reminds me of something Boss Hog would do. This is something I feel Crushed Out needed to do. With so many other duos out there, it’s nice to see them come into their own.
It wouldn’t be a Romanus Records release if there weren’t an array of vinyl variants. Tri-color, Splatters, and of course the extremely limited, glitter filled psychedelic “Gator Glitter” variant. Romanus has a knack for what vinyl collectors thirst for and for every budget. Most importantly, Romanus has a finger on the pulse of blues-based rock music. As the premiere label for this sort of thing, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the vinyl version of Stay Wild Gator Child sell out relatively quick. All the more reason to jump on this album the first chance you get.
For more info on Crushed Out, visit crushedoutmusic.com
To purchase Stay Wild Gator Child on vinyl, visit Romanus Records