Sacramento’s Creux Lies have never lacked in passion or commitment. Over the past two or three years the band have had no qualms about treating the style of sweeping, romantic post-punk they favour with the sincerity it demands. But while their honesty has never been in question, neither have their influences. Sophomore LP Goodbye Divine is subtler in its lineage, more muscular in its delivery, and brings a stronger clutch of songs than its predecessor.
Dreamy, melodic, and wearing their love for The Cure on their sleeves, Creux Lies’s The Hearth was a nice calling card for the band’s style, and perhaps most importantly got them out on the road – this isn’t the first rodeo for most of the band and they know how to put on a show. But Goodbye Divine quickly makes an impression on the strength of its core material. The tracks which bookend the record, “Jungle” and “Wicked”, are impressive pieces of thundering bombast, with solid harmonic instincts being buttressed by echoing drums and grand synth arrangements. In both content and execution, Creux Lies are far more bold and serious here, and they’re a better band for it.
Ean Elliot Clevenger’s vocals certainly deserve a large portion of the credit for this leap forward. Clevenger’s lengthy hardcore background previous to the band’s formation still isn’t especially detectable, but he’s alighted upon a deep and commanding register which seems to better match his natural range, and is perfectly suited to brisk and rollicking tracks like “Misunderstanding” and “Renegade”. That isn’t to say that it’s all doom and gloom – those vocals handily thread their way through the record’s softer moments, like the wistful “PS Goodnight” and the lithe and chiming “Lore”, a lusher and richer revisiting of The Hearth‘s sound.
While it carries a lesser amount of The Cure’s DNA, Creux Lies’ influences are certainly still present in Goodbye Divine – I’m personally catching a lot of Lowlife and Tears For Fears, listeners a bit older and more British than myself might be hearing The Church or The House Of Love – but Goodbye Divine isn’t mired in the distant past. You could probably draw lines newer acts like White Lies and a number of the band’s contemporaries, but importantly none of those names are jumping to the fore or overshadowing the sterner and more sober presentation of themselves Creux Lies are putting forward here. They know what they’re aiming for, and confidently hit the mark in their own fashion and with real impact. Recommended.