Ian Sweet’s Crush Crusher is a heavy record in many ways. From its distorted guitar work to its blunt, personal lyrics, Jillian Medford has created a record with a lot of meaning and feeling behind it. After dropping her bandmates and working on this album solo, Medford found a sound that she likely wouldn’t have found within a trio.

It’s impossible to deny the power of an opening track like “Hiding”. It’s loud, as Medford belts out the words, “I forgot myself in you”, over a huge explosion of guitar and drums. “Spit” gets about as close to the older Ian Sweet style before the album gets more into a dreamy area with “Holographic Jesus” and the shoegaze-y title track. Musically, Crush Crusher always feels like it’s teetering between loud, epic moments and quiet, personal introspection. Lyrically, it’s brutally honest, both with others and herself, perhaps at no point more so than in “Ugly/Bored”.

Crush Crusher is out on Hardly Art Records, and it can be picked up on Bandcamp or the label’s online store and streamed on the usual sites.

To review the first 25 of our Favorite Albums of 2018, click here.

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