Nick Valensi and CRX perform at U Street Music Hall on November 16, 2016. (Photo by Theresa C. Sanchez)
If your live performance is under 35 minutes, you better bring it. Nick Valensi and his new band CRX made every single second count — and then some. They managed to accomplish a similar feat in less time with their debut album, “New Skin,” released October 28 via Columbia Records. Their U Street Music Hall appearance Wednesday, November 16, was part of a several-month tour promoting the record.
Under the cloak of darkness, the 6’4” guitarist stepped onstage with his four bandmates and together they erupted into the power-packed track “On Edge.” All the anticipation and hype suddenly made sense. Like the venerated ’90s Honda model everyone “in your neighborhood tried to steal,” this group of guys named after that sought-after vehicle was absolutely awesome. Their rapid-fire delivery was reminiscent of the Ramones in their heyday and the basement setting couldn’t be more fittingly “alternative.”
CRX (Photo by Amanda de Cadenet)
Nick Valensi of The Strokes has a new band CRX, and they dropped their debut album only a few short weeks ago. New Skin, released by Columbia, was produced by Josh Homme of Queens of The Stone Age (who also did some great work with Iggy Pop recently).
CRX are touring in support of the album, and they visit U Street Music Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 16. (That’s tomorrow!) Their sound definitely has echoes of garage rock of The Strokes, but it takes a life of its own as a sort of hard power pop.
Check it out for yourself, and watch the official music video for “Ways to Fake It” by CRX on YouTube:
With the band based in Los Angeles, Nick on vocals and guitar is joined by Ralph Alexander (drums), Richie Follin (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Jon Safley (bass), and Darian Zahedi (guitar, backing vocals). The gents cite The Cars, Cheap Trick, and Elvis Costello as influences, according to Wikipedia. (I think you can certainly hear that!)
Streets of Laredo and The Gloomies open for CRX. Tickets are available online.
w/ Streets of Laredo and The Gloomies
U Street Music Hall
Wednesday, Nov. 16