Crash Carter’s “Play On” received an honorable mention for best song in the Billboard Magazine World Songwriting Contest!
"Crash Carter's Red Buttons Blink is a bit of a throwback to the '70s when artists like Elton John, Gary Wright, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, and Billy Joel were filling the top 40 charts with catchy, keyboard-based, male vocal-driven tunes. That having said, this disc in no way sounds dated, thanks to the exuberance and fresh musical approach of the band, which takes some of the old school appeal of the aforementioned artists and throws in other varied influences, i.e., Sting/The Police and Squeeze. Whatever stylistic approach they happen to be taking, the appeal of Crash Carter hinges primarily on the piano playing and vocals of Casey Gee. The good news is that this guy can play and sing with the best of 'em. John Mears and Jeff Bowman add drums and bass, skillfully managing to pull off the difficult task of enhancing this material with just the right blend of gusto, groove, and sensitivity. In the wrong hands, these tunes would be seriously damaged by a heavy-handed rhythm section...
"Play On" incorporates more of a Police influence with a righteous percussion track and sly, Sting-esque layered-doubled vocals. Three tracks deep into this recording, you will be struck at just how impressively versatile Gee's voice is. This guy really uses his vocal instrument to full effect and has remarkable range. "Fill You Up" lays down a mean groove and makes a cool, subtle shift from the piano driving the music to the drums and bass primarily making it snap... "Jungle" features a somewhat kinky chord structure and melody in the verses, creating the perfect ramp-up for yet another ridiculously catchy chorus. It also introduces some cool, subtle production touches like the retro-cool, fuzzed out bass part on the bridge. "Talk, Turn and Run" is a moving ballad that, like "Jungle," masterfully uses a tension building harmonic structure in the verses and then delivers a big time melodic, lyrical, and emotional resolution in the chorus. One thing I loved throughout the whole recording is the way so many old school keyboard sounds were incorporated, especially the insanely groovin' clavinet parts that show up on "Jump Ship" and "Better Than Myself." Producer Sven-Erik Seaholm seems to have wisely made the choice to let Red Buttons Blink stay pretty close to what Crash Carter does live and not add too many bells and whistles. The sly touches that do show up (i.e., live crowd sounds on "Once Like You") are welcome additions that don't detract from the natural strength of the tunes and the performances.
In a world of too many guitar bands and guitar plucking singer songwriters, Red Buttons Blink is a wonderful breath of fresh air that is likely to bring Crash Carter a dose of well-deserved attention."
Craig Yerkes (R.I.P.) - San Diego Troubadour
The Purest of Pop...
"With bright lead vocals, sunny electric piano and smoothly percolating rhythms, San Diego County's Crash Carter has the kind of immediately friendly pop-rock sound that once populated AM radio. Think the Zombies, Ace, Squeeze or Crowded House, but updated for contemporary ears.
Vocalist/keyboardist Casey Gee has a strong, soaring voice, not so different from that of Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze) or Neil Finn (Splint Enz, Crowded House). In fact, Crash Carter's overall bubbling sound of pop purity draws much from Carrack's and Finn's respective bands. Drummer John Mears and bassist Jeff Bowman provide a constantly shifting, consistently intriguing backdrop for Gee's voice and keys.
Best of all, the band manages to turn out the same kind of interesting, well-crafted pop songs the above comparisons practically demand. If d.j.s still picked their own playlists, cuts like "Jungle," "Tidal Waves" and "Unreal" would be getting picked up by Casey Kasem Saturday morning.
Those days are gone - or least in remission - and so whether Crash Carter is able to find the national audience they deserve remains to be seen. In the meantime, those of us in San Diego have something very special to savor."
-- Jim Trageser - The North County Times
"Crash Carter certainly flies in the same jet stream as Switchfoot. But on their catchy debut, their keyboard pop leans further toward the sexy, funky side, and that's a good thing. Producer Sven-Erik Seaholm no doubt helped polish the band's intriguing melodies into a coherent stack of tracks here. Though they're less than a year old, some tricky mid-song pace changes and well-developed vocal harmonies indicate their substantial musical experience. Unlike the recent glut of coastal crooners, Crash Carter avoids whimsical bonfire tunes. Their sunny chime manages to sound smart and fresh, climaxing with "Tidal Waves," a quirky single with Ben Folds tendencies. Frontman Casey Gee should be peeling the chicks off the speakers when he opens his mouth on Red Buttons Blink-he obviously studied the Stevie Wonder catalogue.."
Caley Cook - San Diego City Beat
Crash Carter : Et un coup de coeur.. un !
(French article translated by author Eric Boisson)
"San Diego seems to be a hotbed for new talents these days. After Tristan Prettyman, this sunny Californian city now gives us a wonderful band - Crash Carter. We're talking real musicians here. Their first opus, "Red Buttons Blink" is pure delight, a dazzling mix of pop rock with jazzy, soul and even funk overtones. Put Ben Folds, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, Jamiroquai and Bill Withers in the same studio, let them jam a while, and they might just come up with a 14-track set as varied as this. The many atmospheres on this album make for a wild musical trip. Casey Gee's voice is a fine fit for the highly melodic tunes he crafts with his accomplices, John Mears and Jeff Bowman. The production is tight and the trio grooves hard. So don't be shy : join the party now."
Eric Boisson - www.ericnroll.com - Lyon, France
Casey Gee - Keys, Guitar & Vocals
John Mears - Drums & Percussion
Jeff Bowman - Bass Guitar