I suppose if you've been living in Los Angeles, seeing Smell-punks Abe Vigoda leak their new material at shows and such, their brand new long-player, Crush, won't shock you all that much. For the rest of us, the album is pretty much the curveball of the year—reviewers, bloggers and fans have been emphasizing the huge stylistic jump from their last proper full-length, 2008's Skeleton. The "tropical punk" tag that was thrown around ad nauseum after Skeleton is not even close to applicable here. Crush finds the boys gettin' goth—deeply rooted in dark '80s new wave, with the drum programming, pomp and sheen of Bauhaus or OMD.
It's definitely a quantum stylistic leap to make in just two short years, but if you want to get really big picture: Skeleton itself was also a rather big, melodic departure from the band's beginnings as angular, stabbing noise-punk from the Inland Empire. Take a listen below—the first track is from Crush, the second from Skeleton, the third is the title track off their 2005 debut Sky Route/Star Roof—no-wave to new-wave in five years flat.
(2010) Abe Vigoda - "Dream Of My Love (Chasing After You)"
(2008) Abe Vigoda - "The Garden"
(2005) Abe Vigoda - "Sky Route/Star Roof"
Personally, I love it when a band throws me for a loop like this, keeping me interested and guessing from album to album. I suppose the real question I'm getting at is—can anyone think of any other bands who have shape-shifted this much, this completely, this quickly? Drop it in the comment box if so.