Cryptacize, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Serengeti & Polyphonic | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Cryptacize, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Serengeti & Polyphonic 

When: Fri., July 10, 10 p.m. 2009
Price: $10
On their second album, Mythomania (Asthmatic Kitty), Cryptacize seem to have found their comfort zone, balancing sophisticated melodies, part Tin Pan Alley and part Brill Building, against shimmering, manic detail and odd instrumental flourishes. The songs are straightforward at their core—the simple strumming of former Deerhoof guitarist Chris Cohen, the spazzy drumming of Michael Carreira, the sturdy but ethereal voice of Nedelle Torrisi—but they’re fleshed out with a shape-shifting tissue of overdubs, including autoharp, organ, hand percussion, and vinyl field-recording samples, plus of course more layers of Cohen’s harsh-but-sweet guitar, sometimes sped up or slowed down like Les Paul’s early tape experiments. Torrisi is a stunning singer, shaping the melodies with precision and vigor even when her voice climbs so high the air must be getting thin, and her forthright lucidity plays nicely against the album’s itchy background bustle. Mythomania is a bit more elaborate than the group’s debut, Dig That Treasure, which might make it harder to duplicate live; there’s a lot more in front of the drums than just Cohen and Torrisi’s guitars. But Cryptacize have already proved their resourcefulness—and since recording it they’ve added a fourth member, bassist Aaron Olson. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Serengeti & Polyphonic open. —Peter Margasak

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