Personnel: Elaiza Santos (vocals); Ryan Galloway (guitar); Nick Corbo (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Mike Ditrio.
Recording information: Seaside Lounge Recording Studios.
After dropping a pair of sweetly synthetic Gameboy-induced EPs in 2014, New York trio Crying navigate away from the chiptune on Beyond the Fleeting Gales, their debut full-length. From the beginning, the band's gift for melody was their greatest asset, and in ditching their 8-bit roots, they've opened themselves up to frame it in any way they like. A hybrid of indie pop, prog, and pop-punk, Crying produce a pretty massive sound, and yet, thanks to singer Elaiza Santos' warm and sometimes modest delivery, their music feels widely accessible and friendly. With the absence of any Gameboy programming, guitarist/keyboardist Ryan Galloway and drummer Nick Corbo both shine as instrumentalists, dishing out shimmering Styx-like synth leads and Rush-inspired rhythmic shifts on tracks like "Patriot" and "Curve." Their exuberance is infectious as they joyfully leap from one stadium rock trope to another, mining the big '80s for explosive nuggets to serve their own colorful presentation and generally making it all work. Lower key offerings like "Well and Spring" and "Children of the Wind" seem better suited to Santos' laid-back vocal style, but there's also something sweet about the mild gusto she gives to a track like "Revive," which comes across like Night Ranger for the Hot Topic set. Sometimes they cram everything together at once like on "There Was a Door," which melds Debbie Harry-esque pop-rapped verses, hair metal leads, slap bass, and proggy "Come Sail Away" synth crescendos. It's a bit of a mess at times, but there's no denying that Crying's sense of fun is a major part of their appeal. ~ Timothy Monger