Deeply rooted in the New Jersey music scene, The Cryptkeeper 5 are celebrating their 9th studio album release titled The Stronghold. If it’s taken you this long to listen to this hardworking group of babes, you picked one delicious album to get into. Cryptkeer 5 have been constantly playing shows, making records, and kicking ass for (believe it or not) 20 years. The Stronghold was released August 26, recorded at SRG studios in Hamilton and mastered by Brian Lucey.
Crytpkeer 5 are a more Bruce Springsteen-d version of Beach Slang with Ramones elements, lots of retro sounding harmonies and booming backing vocals. The Stronghold is quite personal full of heartbreak, lessons learned and nostalgic references of home.
The record starts with “MadDog 20/20 no. 2” a collective chorus that is not only powerful, but absolutely catchy. With Johnny Ott’s honest delivery of, “don’t you regret what we, are don’t you forget who we are” followed by those bellowing backing vocals. On “Balboa” we get tight drums, Springsteeen references, tasty sax, guttural vocals and an anthemic tune that spits fire and gets you ready to face your life. When the whole band shouts, “I’m not giving in” you know they truly mean it.
You can’t argue that “Keys” is a standout track on the record with those jangly jingle bells and strong vocals. When the band sings as a whole it adds something extra into the mix. “Frankie” is a tune about growing up and brotherhood, illustrating a story that you want to hear play out. “Ignite” rips from start to finish and is mostly sung by the band as a whole. With heavy guitar and pulsing bass, this track pumps white-hot energy. The Stronghold closes with an equally as affecting cover of “Two Headed Boy” by Neutral Milk Hotel that truly ties the album together.
Overall, The Cryptkeeper 5 have created an album that is powerful and epic, with songs that are meaningful and easy to become attached to. Whether it’s family quandaries, growing up or letting loose there is something for you on this record. With The Stronghold, Cryptkeeper 5 make sure you don’t forget who they are.