Los Angeles power-pop balladeers Crash Kings have a blurb on their AbsolutePunk profile that begins, “Crash Kings sound like nothing you’ve heard before.” It’s not true at all. Crash Kings sound like Ben Folds and Jack White joined CK bros Weezer in a Queen tribute band. Look at “Mountain Man,” for example. Dead-on White Stripes lead vocals, theatrical piano-driven back-up (hello, Ben Folds) and epic guitar crunch a la Weezer emulating Queen.
“1985” is more funk than rock, emphasizing the Ben Folds angle only to quickly rule it out with harmony so tight it sounds like a clever snake is singing both parts in one supernatural voice. It sounds diabolical. Surely you’ve heard a few diabolical things by now.
So anyway, Crash Kings don’t sound like nothing you’ve heard before. In fact, they sound a lot like plenty. But here’s a thought: Suppose you were to eat a sandwich made of tuna fish, peanut butter, and caramel. BUT suppose it was delicious. It wouldn’t be out of line for you to exclaim, “This is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before,” when in fact, it is exactly the same as three things you’ve had regularly since you were a kid (four, with the bread). It’s the unexpected combination of things that you already like, that gets you shouting. Crash Kings are like that. Try them. Shout a little.