Crease

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.

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.

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