Online since August 2002

The purest of pop

Reviewed July 2005

Red Buttons Blink
Red Buttons Blink
By Crash Carter

Train Wreck Records: 2005

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends visiting the band's Web site.

With bright lead vocals, sunny electric piano and smoothly percolating rhythms, San Diego County's Crash Carter has the kind of immediately friendly pop-rock sound that once populated AM radio. Think the Zombies, Ace, Squeeze or Crowded House, but updated for contemporary ears.

Vocalist/keyboardist Casey Gee has a strong, soaring voice, not so different from that of Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze) or Neil Finn (Splint Enz, Crowded House). In fact, Crash Carter's overall bubbling sound of pop purity draws much from Carrack's and Finn's respective bands. Drummer John Mears and bassist Jeff Bowman provide a constantly shifting, consistently intriguing backdrop for Gee's voice and keys.

Best of all, the band manages to turn out the same kind of interesting, well-crafted pop songs the above comparisons practically demand. If d.j.s still picked their own playlists, cuts like "Jungle," "Tidal Waves" and "Unreal" would be getting picked up by Casey Kasem Saturday morning.

Those days are gone – or least in remission – and so whether Crash Carter is able to find the national audience they deserve remains to be seen. In the meantime, those of us in San Diego have something very special to savor.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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