Trawling the Chicago Public Library's audio archives (as well as his personal stash of arcane sound samples), bedroom auteur Dave Fischoff has sewn together The Crawl, only his third long-player in over ten years of music-making. Fischoff expertly balances bombast and introspection in his meditative chamber-pop; most of The Crawl lands somewhere between the overblown earnestness of My Chemical Romance and the sweet hum of the Delgados, with big, thumping crescendos devolving into fuzzy atmospherics. Fischoff is as indebted to pop and dance as he is to orchestral bravado, and The Crawl is at times almost preposterously overstuffed, riddled with keyboard diddles, soft, echoing vocals and thick arrangements — tracks like instrumental “The Maternity Vine” are so opulent and frenzied you can practically feel the fervor oozing out of your speakers. Fischoff's lyrics can get a little cumbersome (is he really trying to rhyme “trellises” with “cadences”?), but The Crawl is a compelling winter record, as good as a fireplace for heating up cold, dark nights.
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