As a largely self-described “professional musician and critic,” music has been as much a constant part of my emotional sustenance as weekend warrior bar gigs and unpaid record reviews. So when my life started going south in 2010, with serious family illness, turmoil in my career, and the second of our sons leaving for college, I relied on the music, as always, to help me through.
A Giant Crab Comes Forth came into my life that summer. As I tried to distract myself through outdoor labor in intense heat, Giant Crab tracks kept coming up on my MP3 player, and with each play, songs like “It Started With A Little Kiss” sank their considerable hooks further into me with their pop song craft and clever, value-added arrangements.
(What was it with that bell, though? It’s heard on at least two tracks, as if part of a secret code or perhaps a summons to some mysterious listener, or even … a monstrous creature, a giant crab!)
With the transformative, elevating power of the best music, A Giant Crab Comes Forth continually buoyed my mood, always sounding like a refreshing blast of lost classic radio. Since my first exposure to the album, I have given … Comes Forth a couple hundred spins, putting it in a preferred playlist category second only to such personal essentials as Abbey Road, Pet Sounds, Forever Changes, Wheatstraw Suite, and The 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.
What I’ve learned about the musicians who made up Giant Crab has only enhanced the positive vibes put off by this album. Having musician sons myself, I found myself experiencing great empathy for Giant Crab patriarch, Joseph Orosco, too.
My life has made a near-180 degree change for the better and, while it would be overstating its role in this reversal of fortune to attribute it entirely to … Comes Forth, Giant Crab was a vital part of the soundtrack that sustained me through some hellishly bad times.
And now, from more of a hilltop perspective, A Giant Crab Comes Forth still sounds every bit as good, if not even better than it did where things looked desperate. While I would never guarantee that the music on this album will change your life, you will definitely be better off for hearing it.