Crappin’ You Negative is the third studio album by the indie-rock sensation, Grifters. The lo-fi, Memphis, Tennessee band with an everlasting and inspiring sound that helped make waves in the music community, even if the waves were more underground.
Grifters is a four-piece that works together to make records that do not take themselves so seriously; Crappin’ You Negative is one of those albums that has comedic track titles, but actually have a solid foundation. The opening track simply titled, “Rats” has these effortless sounding guitar strums that echo through the song. The buzzing bass hums behind the overall intriguing use of reverberation on the vocals. The track is mixed in part with a rising movement that increases the song into more of a dash. The instruments feel sloppy, but not in an inadequate way, it feels like a more relaxed approach rather than the latter.
Grifters do an incredible job of having Crappin’ You Negative feel like it is being played in front of you on a stage rather than through speakers. Grifters bring so much energy to each track and together they work to make the tracks themselves feel like they are being played lived. Tracks like “Skin Man Palace,” “Holmes,” and even “Bronze” which has a total 90’s garage band sound, are still authentic and let the listener tap into the quicker side of Grifters.
Crappin’ You Negative has a considerable amount of variety to the tracks. Certain tracks speed up the action and make a quick stage-dive or two, but Grifters can also do a great job slowing down and making more of a sluggish movement instead.
With tracks like “Dead Already,” “Felt Tipped Over,” “Junkie Blood,” and even “Piddlebeach” that has this ominous use of a didgeridoo, are all absorbing. The way these tracks will suck you in and make you actually feel the music, engrossing you in its subject matter and half-heartedly making you want to buy a didgeridoo. It was interesting to see a band that can use so many of the same elements, but make them all sound unique through each track. Rather than creating the same song 14-different times, they simply make 14 songs, 14 different ways.
Following Grifters always adapting sound, the track “Here Comes Larry” has an eerie and continuously echoing acoustic guitar that is backed up by what sounds like faint radio static behind it. The track then fades into finale, “Cinnamon.” An explosive last track that fills the room with slick guitar work, rapid percussion, and some softer-spoken lyrics that almost seem to contradict the rest of the track. “Cinnamon” then ends with the band fading out into a crowd setting, the bass drums rattles and then finally, comes to silence.