Musical Family Tree

Spreading Indiana Music

Crys' MFT page (listen while you read)

You're asleep in another's dreams, letting them carry you. You see a sunflower surrounding the tombstone of a beloved cat. Psychic visions, hallucinatory imagery, hairs stand on end, a nervous tick, and a slight sense of relief when the music is over. You may now return to your normal state of consciousness.

Born and bred on Fountain Square sunshine and I-65 exhaust and acidrainbows, Crys are a 3 piece kraut-psych outfit from Indianapolis. First, I question whether they are really a 3 piece. There is something more going on than meets the ears, ghostly sounds fill the room as the rhythm section alternates between deep, opiate grooves and fine tuned, motorik pulses. Voices swirl, swampland spirits are conjured, CCR is fed LSD, and these kids are in a haze so deep I begin to question whether they are from Indiana or somewhere deep in space.

Baptized by groove in Strawberry Fields and Communion with the dead. Crys are a legitimate force in the growing Fountain Square arts scene. Calling Fountain Square's gallery-venue Shared Heritage their home, Crys hone into their surroundings: the pulsing of I-65 traffic, the eerie-drone of sirens off in the distance, the dark vibes of playground rituals, and the creepy silence that gets beneath your skin when walking down Morris St. in the night.

Jacob Gardner, Crys' bassist and singer and founder of the colossal Cataracts Music Festival, seems to be channeling the voices that fill Roky Erikson's head, grotesque creatures, exorcised from bums in a train yard. Joey Shepard, Crys' drummer, serves the kraut and with a minimalist recipe and large portions. His mind wonders to oblivion as he pounds on and on, keeping you hungry, stirring a nostalgia for your virgin listens through Tago Mago and Neu! 2, carrying the spacious and swirling leads of the band's own psychedelic guru, Mitch Duncan, through altered states of rock and roll consciousness, again and again and again and again...

I've been around since the inception of Crys, and their music is still hard for me to grasp. It's an atypical twist on one of my favorite musical formulas, repetition. Lou Reed said, "Let there be White Light," and there was. Crys saw the light and saw that it was good, and turned it back to its primordial darkness, covering the entirety of the surrounding space and time with deep cutting, heavy fervor for all who will listen.

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Comment by Mark Andrew McWhirter on February 10, 2012 at 9:10am

I saw crys once and enjoyed it a lot. The drummer rocks especially, great tone and rhythm. And there were three guitarists, and one who looked straight from the 90s. He was so cool. I hope they come to Bloomington soon! 

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