It’s rare, these days, to listen to an album top to bottom. We live in an age of AI-generated playlists algorithmically driven to feed us our favorite car karaoke songs over and over again. But Speaking Terms, the new LP from San Diego–based band Crasher, isn’t just an album. It’s an experience.
Instead of releasing 10 carbon-copy tracks with different titles, Crasher singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dave Mead decided to do something different (a high-risk, high-reward choice in the music industry). His album resembles a true movie score, with the style shifting from epic punk rock to folky guitar ballads. Every song is unpredictable—urging you to really stop and listen.
When performing on stage, Mead keeps mosh pitters on their toes, sprinkling in delicate acoustic songs in between heavy garage rock. As crowds try to adjust to the mood whiplash, “I can watch them start to understand it,” Mead says.
The last song on Speaking Terms is “Seaside,” a beautifully harmonic track that captures the softness of the sea. The music video for the track echoes the classic Gulliver’s Travels story, depicting Mead washed up on the beach with his guitar, surrounded by tiny people.
It’s a far cry from the crashing percussion, rock-n-roll antics, and crunchy footage in the video for “Static,” the album’s first track. But that’s exactly the point. Where some records are mashed potatoes—satisfying, sure, but the same all the way through—Speaking Terms is the best kind of salad. It’s a melange of disparate ingredients blending together into something damn good—and good for you.
“I was attracted to playing music because it offered me a huge release, and I’ve always had a lot of energy that needs to be released,” Mead says. “When I was first starting, I didn’t totally know or understand why I was gravitating towards music, but, looking back on it now, I think it’s because I was trying to give myself a healthy outlet.”
See Crasher live at Soda Bar (3615 El Cajon) on Dec. 23.