After a decade as a rock-anthem-spewing locomotive, Fort Lauderdale's Crease has nearly arrived at a cohesive, big-time-ready persona. The four-piece puts on a serious game face to attack Only Human, its second full-length; this is a band that's seen the wet end of the music industry stick, having been dropped after releasing its debut by Roadrunner Records when the label downsized.
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Aided by ace producer and Miami resident Charles Dye (Aerosmith, Ricky Martin), Crease scores a hat trick right from the beginning of Human: Opener "Nothing Is Real," "Live to Be in Love," and "Wrapped Around You" are built from skyscraping hard rock hooks and a yearning, almost adolescent lust. But "Transparent" derails the train with pseudo-metal angst; the misplaced song spotlights the album's pieced-together feel, which is barely shaken up by the grunge-poppy "Whipped" as the album slips into sameness. Still, Crease's big-balled, deeply felt sing-alongs and unabashed guitar heroics are kind of quaint and cool, like driving your old high school ride a decade after you left for college.