Album Review: Chris Cresswell – One Week

chris cresswell one weekChris Cresswell’s One Week is one of two albums available through One Week Records so far. Joey Cape (Lagwagon/Me First and the Gimme Gimmes) asked The Flatliners frontman, Chris Cresswell, to live with him for a week and record a whole album in those seven days. One Week is the result of that week, allowing Chris to experiment and produce a sound vastly different from his work with Toronto based skate-punk band, The Flatliners.

The first track, “Meet Me in the Shade,” immediately embodies everything that the label stands for- avoiding studio perfectionism and achieving a raw, demo-esque sound. The lone, acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment on the chorus gives the song a nice, full sound while, at the same time, stripping it down to be as simple as possible. This also provides an entirely new sound for Chris due to the lack of slow or lighter songs from his work with the Flatliners.

However one Flatliners track does appear on this album. “Daggers” -which appeared on their 7″ split with Make Do and Mend- is a prime song to be adapted into an acoustic track because of its full sound and tuneful melody (and the fact that it has already been done by Chris and the Flatliners’ guitarist, Scott Brigham, thanks to Compass and Square Sessions). With an extremely relaxing melody, along with little things like the whistling and guitar tapping, the song entirely embodies the idea behind the record.

Songs like “San YSidro” and “On The Day You Died” feature a very stripped down and sombre tone on account of the very basic sound of the tracks, which feature little more than a slow guitar riff. “San YSidro” has a simple, slow tempo click in the background of the track and “On The Day You Died” has a slight echo to the vocals, which really makes an impact towards the end of the track.

Other songs like “Little Bones” still contain that Flatliners style through the high-tempo chord-based verses and varying pitch throughout the song, but only have the similarities through the lyrical style of Cresswell and his heavy use of metaphors.

Summed up, this record really is a testament to Cresswell and his abilities as a songwriter and musician by completely changing his style of  songwriting from heavy chord based punk to soft, intricate acoustic songs. He also deserves much praise for his ability at adapting songs into acoustic versions by not only restyling “Daggers,” but also breathing a whole new life into Dead to Me’s “Arrhythmic Palpitations.” Though Chris may not have the most conventional voice for soft acoustic tracks, it very nicely fits in place with his punk background and, of course, the whole idea of the label from which it was produced.

One Week is available now as a download from One Week Records.

Rating: 7 slices out of 8
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