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Crack - Si Todo Hiciera Crack CD (album) cover

SI TODO HICIERA CRACK

Crack

 

Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 76 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars This is one of those albums that makes collecting and reviewing progressive symphonic music a real pleasure. It’s also a band I would have never heard of had this not become such an addictive pastime.

Crack were a Spanish band that apparently existed briefly in the latter seventies but who did not have the flamenco-tinged sound of many other bands of that era. They are more like Italian symphonic music, kind of like Lisker or Gotic and other bands of that nature that produced one or two beautiful albums and then disappeared (at least I assume the comparisons are valid from the limited samples I’ve heard of those two bands). In one way they are more like Tarantula or Atila though, maybe not in their style, but in the fact someone took the time to track down their music and reissue it on CD. In this case that someone was Si-Wan Records, which is a great credit to that label. The downside, as with many Si-Wan CDs, is that the liner notes are in Korean so I have no idea what they say.

No matter, this is a fantastic recording and a choice find for any symphonic rock fan, especially those like me who have an affinity for the peculiar inflection of Spanish singers. The vocals here are both male and female, which lends an even more exotic flair to the music; although on some tracks like “Cobarde O Desertor” the falsetto male vocals are a bit of a distraction.

The keyboard work is also quite expressive, much like the limited amount of Italian symphonic bands I’ve heard like PFM or Osanna. Crack also feature flute quite heavily, but otherwise their surprisingly expansive sound comes from the voices, bass, guitar, and a single yet highly creative keyboardist, Mento Hevia.

The songs are all in Spanish, but again no matter that their meaning is lost if you don’t speak that language. The real magic hear is in the musical arrangements, which are bright, upbeat, and irrepressibly beguiling.

The opening “Descenso En El Mahellstrong” features the fat acoustic guitar flair so unique to Spanish music in general, along with delicate keyboards and Celtic-tinged flute, which seems to be something of a trademark of symphonic Spanish music as well. This is an instrumental, and the electric guitar work at the end casts an intensely introspective mood on the whole song. A beautiful work.

In contrast “Amantes De La Irrealidad” starts and ends with vocals, with leading male voice backed by almost operatic female backing, and endless tempo shifts punctuated by flourishing keyboards (pretty sure the heavy ones are mellotron), a couple brief passages of rather intense guitar, and finally a brief climax of keyboards and male chamber vocals before fading abruptly. Does the title mean ‘lovers of fantasy’? If so, an apt title.

“Cobarde O Desertor” is the most vocally intense track, including the strange falsetto singer who I assume represents the coward the lyrics are no doubt referring to. This is closer to a complex pop song or perhaps contemporary world music, but still Hevia’s keyboards set it apart from more mundane popular music.

I’m not sure what the desires are that referred to in “Buenos Deseos” (lust? Not sure). Anyway, this one also has more folkish vocals than symphonic, and again the keyboards save the day. Well, maybe not ‘save’ – it’s a good song nonetheless, but Mr. Hevia sure does know how to coax a lot of sounds out of his keyboards. Towards the end this one kind of wanders into jazzy-funk territory, a nice diversion that serves to give the album even more variety.

“Marchando Una Del Cid” has a martial rhythm, complete with militant drumming and flute. Again, no idea what this is about – marching somewhere to do something, not sure, and it occurs to me that the harmonic male vocals in the background may in fact be synthesized. But again it doesn’t really matter. This is the only track that has a bit of a dated feel to it, mostly because of the yawning lead male vocals, which remind me of some Mexican and Cuban pop bands of the early eighties, but besides the vocals this is a delicious two-part work that really takes off in the second part, which are almost completely dominated by the keyboards. I’m guessing this would be an interesting tale if I could get someone to translate the lyrics. It’s a top-notch symphonic adventure even without that.

The title track (“Si Todo Hiciera”) is the apex of this album. The female vocalists are more prominent here, trading leading bits with Hevia and the guitarist, while Hevia lavishes on the extended reverb in his keyboards, alternating between piano and more exotic synthesized sounds. I get the impression there’s a kind of ‘let’s all hug and get along’ kind of message to the lyrics, and the acoustic and electric guitars present a pleasantly upbeat mood behind the graceful vocals in support of that message. I’ve played this one song more than the rest of the album combined since picking it up, and it hasn’t dimmed in my estimation one bit.

The epilog is full of flute and piano, slowly winding down the mood and the music until a sustained note and piano flair bring it to an end.

This is really a great musical experience; I really don’t know any other way to put it. Hard to believe these guys basically faded away after such a short period. I read about the band a little, and my understanding is they had a lot of unfortunate personal issues and misfortunes that led to their early demise as a group. But I believe several of them have remained in music, including the brilliant keyboardist Mento Hevia, who ended up in a group known as Gueta Na Fonte after some time playing classical music as well as electronica. That’s good to know, as we can’t have enough creative symphonic keyboardists in this world in my opinion.

So, what to give this album? For the life of me I can’t find anything bad to say about it. The music is lively, complex, varied, and inspiring. It is a little treasure that can be had fairly easily thanks to its reissue on CD several years ago, and it represents pretty much everything I would look for in a great symphonic rock album. I’m hesitant to say it is essential, since I believe if it truly were then it would be more prominently known and appreciated in progressive circles. But it would most definitely make a great addition to any music lover’s collection. So four stars it is, but very close to five.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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