Avoca indie pop rockers The Cryptid promise ‘Something to Remember’ at EP release show in Pittston on March 13
As one of the most fun and likable bands to frequent the NEPA Scene Rising Talent open mic and talent contest, we missed seeing The Cryptid play on our stage at The V-Spot in Scranton this past season, but they were busy writing new material for what would become their new EP as well as playing shows as their alter egos, The Taxmen.
The indie/alternative rock group from Avoca released the finished project, “Something to Remember,” on Dec. 13, and they’re finally ready to play these six songs for the first time live on Friday, March 13 at the Border Bar in Pittston.
“Our sound can vary quite a lot from song to song, but in general, we would say that our music can be described as indie pop rock, commonly featuring jangly guitars, melodic synths, and Beatles-esque vocal harmonies,” vocalist/guitarist Nick Montini told NEPA Scene.
“The title ‘Something to Remember’ is sort of a sarcastic joke on ourselves. We were referencing the fact that listeners tend to not classify us into a single genre and thus felt it was likely this would get lost in the shuffle.”
Since forming in 2012, this is the band’s third EP, “kind of. [2017’s] ‘Dam the Ocean’ was supposed to be an EP, but I think it technically counts as an LP,” he clarified, due to its six tracks being over 35 minutes.
So they’re not great with definitions and classifications, but true artists usually aren’t. Instead, they just focus on expressing themselves in the most authentic way possible, which this time meant looking at life a bit differently.
“In terms of lyrically, they aren’t like our usual depressing songs, for the most part. They’re actually positive! As long as you interpret them that way, that’s what we intended,” Montini continued.
With running themes of “lost connections, toxic relationships, coping with anxiety and depression, and personal hobbies and passions,” this collection of songs required a new approach.
“We started putting a lot more thought into every individual part of the song. Also, we try not to remain fixated on parts we’re used to. If we have any new ideas, we try it instead of saying right off the bat that we liked it the old way. We mainly wrote individually and guide each other on what we expect. We did less of that this time and took more input from each other. We also didn’t strictly limit ourselves to songs that can be played live,” he explained.
“The most different [song] from the rest is probably ‘Something to Remember.’ But perhaps ‘Mirrors’ – it’s more synth-based than guitar-driven, like our previous release, ‘Machines vs. Pianos.’ Ryan personally loves ‘Something to Remember.’”
Montini, Ryan Witman (drums), Patrick Cadden (keyboard, synth), and Keith Boone (bass) drew inspiration from so many different artists that they made Spotify playlists for each song that include all the other songs that influenced it. Every member of The Cryptid is also in The Beatles tribute band The Taxmen (with additional guitarist Anthony Picataggio), which debuted at NEPA Scene Rising Talent last year, so naturally the Fab Four came into play during the writing and later recording at JL Studios in Olyphant last November.
“The Beatles have always been an influence on us from the day we picked up our instruments, and the recent start of The Taxmen definitely played a role in the songwriting as well. You learn what works from The Beatles. They had a great ability to also take stuff that shouldn’t work and make it work,” Montini emphasized.
Both The Cryptid and The Taxmen were NEPA Scene Rising Talent finalists, so it’s appropriate that another finalist, Mountain Top indie punk band Starving Hysterical Naked, will be joining them at their EP release show at the Border Bar (170 Laurel St., Pittston) on March 13 with new Scranton indie/emo artist Flowers for You. The music starts at 9 p.m. and admission is free, so there aren’t many excuses to miss this one, especially since the Border Bar has been generating a lot of buzz in the local music scene this winter following a recent remodeling with a new stage, sound, and lighting to accommodate an influx of new shows.
Once this one is over, The Cryptid plans to build more on their work as well.
“Our main goal is to continue writing. We’ve been pretty slow at that in the last three or four years, and we want to change that,” Montini said.
“Check out our Facebook and Instagram. The album is available on the major streaming platforms. And if you have a favorite song, share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever. We appreciate all of the support!”
Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene