New CD Features the Sounds of the Bronx
Crashbox Rocks Hard in the Bronx
By Jon Minners
Let the Links Guide You: The Story and Review of the Bronx CD
If you like Radio, the song donated by the group Crashbox to the Bronx CD, then you are going to want to hear the rest of their music. This band is on the verge of making a major breakthrough with a major indie record label, but is still holding true to their roots. Born and bred in The Bronx, Morris Park to be exact, Crashbox is doing their local community proud by redefining the rock game through an old school sound with a modern twist.
I first discovered Crashbox almost four years ago while working at the Bronx Times Reporter. A colleague of mine had written an article about them and fell in love with their music, offering to help promote them. Listening to their CD, I was instantly hooked on the group, known as Pinwheel at the time.
Pinwheel included Sal Scoca on guitar, Joe Regalubtuo on guitar and keyboards, Victor Pena on bass, and Peter Santagada, on drums, but a change up occurred and Joe left the group to eventually be replaced by Chris Petro who gave the group a more well rounded sound that fit them well when they changed their name to Crashbox.
ďIt felt like a different band when Chris joined, so we thought it was a perfect time for a title change,Ē explained Scoca. ďWhat he brings to the band is a youthful drive and a great knowledge of recording; not to mention heís a kick-ass guitarist. He makes it easy to write songs and finish them quickly. Heís on stealth mode when we write. I come down with a semi-song, he gets to work on it and three minutes later; itís done; sort of like microwave popcorn.Ē
Their first CD showed so much initiative that you would think they were all ready signed to a label. Nothing about this CD sounded like a demo CD, or bootleg cut. Everything about Dear Blue... was, and still is smooth and screaming for mainstream success. The group came off as a polished act that didnít need anything in the way of further coaching. The CD began with the title track called Dear Blue, which received play on the defunct WLIR 92.7 in New York. The song is really nice, and reminds me of every damn ex-girlfriend who has destroyed my opinion of love.
Believe was a nice ballad that could have heated up the airwaves on Z100. "Would you believe...if angles came and told you/ no one would ever take you away...from me?" I really like this song. It really rounds out the group nicely. Every one of these songs could have made it on one radio station or another.
In fact, Music Resource Group's Musician's Atlas Magazine named Pinwheel the Best Hard Rock/Metal Band 2002 for their song, Whatever Turns You On. Fans were demanding encore after encore at Kennyís Castaway and the Hard Rock Cafť where the group showed they could also hang with the big boys by playing some top notch covers of the Kinksí Destroyer and Bon Joviís Living on a Prayer, which they had played on a dare. The group couldnít get better than this, right? Wrong.
Rock Hard was released and the group seemed even more ready for the mainstream scene. The CD contained some excellent tracks seemingly lifted straight from the 80ís and given a modern touch. Every song took me back in time to a day when music was pure and real. In fact, one such song, Saturday, recalls that time just perfectly. "Just this morning/I found a record of an old song/that I used to love when I was just a boy/When I was younger/I would never understand it/When he said now I need a place to hide away/Now I think we need a place to hide away."
The CD slows down with Story for a Girl that seems to be taken straight from personal experience. "She had a lot to say/but no one cared to listen anyway/Once upon a time she smiled/she was a happy child/some might say/Loved the material things/the joy that money brings was her way/The story for a girl/thought she ruled the world/Her love was bought and sold/but no one really knows/What happened to the girl/went half way round the world/How was I to know/When no one really knows where she is." The hook features the band harmonizing with some La, na, na, la, na, na, oh yeah and that just added to the originality and uniqueness of the track.
Junk Girl has a Stone Temple Pilots-type edge to it that seems to deal with drugs as the subject matter and a girl who seems hooked. "Iím the one youíd love to be/Iím so high you wonít believe/cause I got time and itís all I need/I got lines where I want to be/I got time and itís all for me/Iím not blind and I donít care/I got a love and it feels so good/Sheís my baby/Iím in love/Junk head girlÖIíve done things/you wonít believe/Iíve got tracks, do you care to seeÖ"
ďWith the songwriting, thereís more of a storytelling vibe to my lyrics and each song does actually refer to a true story, or partially true,Ē said Scoca. ďI find myself getting wrapped up in other peopleís problems and this time around, I sort of put them on paper.Ē
My favorite track on Rock Hard was Anyplace But Here. "This is all just starting to get too weird/Would you rather be any place but here/Well itís all just starting to look too clear/Would you rather be any place/but off your knees and on your feet, itís time for you to feel complete/just get off your knees on your feet again." The track is perfectly complimented by the band, once again harmonizing, with well placed whoa oh, whoa ohs thrown in between the chorus.
Now, it looks like the group if close to releasing a wide release CD. On their Myspace.com site, the group has announced on a blog that their CD will be released on September 27. ďIt's official!,Ē says the band. ďSeptember 27th is the release date for Crashbox's album. Look for it in every record store...I mean CD store. And look for us to be playing in your town soon! Lots of thanks to everyone who has been there every step of the way."