CriesLol “Self Title”

CriesLol is the brainchild of Mateo Galindo, with help from Zak Modell and Rola Zeyada, and finds a way to drain the sonic deserts of sand and pour them into a cauldron of boundless styles. Strip mines and desolate landscapes get dystopian makeovers on CriesLol’s compelling debut, Self Title. Extinguishing the flames from Saint Paul to Tulsa, where Galindo lives and works, this is one hell of a ride. 

Space dubs lay back into the sun, laced with hypnotic, catchy vocals that etch into your brain like diamonds on glass on “Misery Train.” Galindo sings “I never was the same,” acid dripping from the ceilings as everything spirals around onto itself, an endless loop of gooey pop flying through neon night skies. There’s so a gnarly underbelly that rides throughout Self Title, keeping the echoing highs at bay and just out of reach.

Bass crunch drives “From the Land” like a faceless conductor damned for eternity and gleeful to bring you down with him. Slow motion rhythms crackle as layers of eerie, cryptic babble dances on top like a jester with no court left to serve. It’s so weirdly creepy that I simultaneously want to immerse myself in it neck-deep, but also need a damn shower. Throughout Self Title is a permeating atmosphere that Gallindo curates impeccably. CriesLol keeps you guessing, though, channeling early Not Not Fun vibes with the hazy, glassine “Xeroxed” and ambient pop of “Parking Lots” that fades into the wind gusts of “Chime 511 W.” It’s a calm moment that reorients your focus, giving way to the aforementioned “Xeroxed.” This is my favorite section of the record.

From beginning to end, you occupy a foreign, fantastical world where the real becomes surreal through deft manipulation of sound and space. Self Title is unclassifiable in the best ways; a strange amalgamation of a wide array of styles, all mashed together in a fucked-up, cohesive way that are perfectly encapsulated on the stunning “Crashed.” Ramshackle beats give way to minimalist deadspace and Zeyada’s translucent vocals. It’s utterly mesmerizing and I am completely transfixed by this piece. CriesLol is the real deal.