metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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Music Reviews

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Review by Jen Appel | June 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM

With the release of their much-anticipated debut EP Navigate, Toronto newcomers Crystalyne have proven that they are a band to be on the lookout for. Having just wrapped up a three month tour visiting over sixty high schools in Canada in support of the release, they’re showing no signs of slowing down, ready to capture audiences everywhere with their pop rock sound.

Opening track “Wolves” is the perfect start to the EP with its high energy leading into an irresistibly catchy chorus. Dattoli and co. skillfully showcase a unique blend of aggressive rock and melodic pop in this track. Dattoli’s voice is dripping with emotion as she sings, “The wolves are wearing me down / I’d love to change the fact that I need you now / I’m not shutting you out.” Her vocal range is especially impressive on the follow-up track “Weapon.” This pop hit with a rock twist is one to keep on repeat with a killer vocal performance and undeniable chorus.

While “Never Look Back” is catchy and upbeat, Dattoli’s vocals fall short after her impressive delivery on the previous tracks. Although listeners will enjoy the pop tune, the aggressive rock heard on earlier on the album could have enhanced this track. “Just Fine” is another track that boasts catchy hooks but falls short of its full potential, especially with the bar set so high after the leading tracks.

The EP quickly turns around with “Deceiver,” an angry breakup song that will get your blood rising while Dattoli belts out, “It’s only stories when you speak to me / Don’t feed me anything you think I want to hear.” There is no skipping this track. Listeners will easily relate to the lyrics and quickly catch on to the chorus. The title track “Navigate” is the album’s most eclectic song, spending its first few minutes as a heartfelt acoustic track before exploding into full band just in time for the last chorus. Sure to become a fan favourite, this unique track really showcases Crystalyne’s talent and the versatility of Dattoli’s vocals, ending the EP on a high note.

Overall, Navigate is a mixture of pop sensibility and aggressive rock with several standout songs that highlight Dattoli’s impeccable vocal skills. The EP could have been more eclectic, with the leading tracks somewhat outshining the others, but overall Crystalyne have delivered a strong first effort on their debut release.

Rating: 3.5/5

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