Crooks on Tape is John Schmersal (Enon, Brainiac), Rick Lee (Enon, Skeleton Key, Butter 08), and Joey Galvan. The unscripted band was born out of a simple notion: convene, improvise, and record every moment. Fingerprint is their debut record.
In 2010, the Los Angeles trio assembled a rotating fortress of instruments, synthesizers, samplers, and loopers. Crooks recorded hundreds of hours of material, largely instrumental in its original performance. Fingerprint is the first evidence of this undertaking and a window into the band’s sound. The record you hear is analogous to tiny snapshots of an altered crime scene.
In many ways, Crooks picks up where Enon left off. Rick and John created two instrumental records in Enon’s early days (Long Play and On Hold). Fingerprint is an outgrowth of those directions, spun in a totally live, improvisational context, augmented by vocals. Though unpredictable, Joey’s marked drumming style provides the adhesion, gluing the group together when sessions become too cacophonous.
Misra Records is now based in Dayton, OH — the hometown of Schmersal and his former band Brainiac. Strange, unformed, wildly intriguing snippets of Fingerprint began making their way to the label in early 2013. Each song sounded like a story unfolding. Songs were amended, vocals were added, and a debut album began to develop.
This material is mined from sessions lasting between winter, 2010 – Spring, 2012. The band has since moved from the location where these documents were made. They are hard at work constructing a new space. John has been dividing his time between Crooks on Tape, Caribou, Girls Against Boys (occasionally subbing for Eli Janney), and playing with another new band. You can expect many more records to evolve from this time period alone.
Fingerprint is for Crooks a pop record — the band at its most accessible. Stranger things are to follow.
Crooks on Tape
The Southgate House Revival
Friday January 31st
8p Doors / 9p Show
$8 ADV / $10 DOS