The Cryptkeeper Five
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The Cryptkeeper Five

Trenton, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | SELF

Trenton, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1997
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pop Vulture"

Formed in 1997 in Trenton, NJ The Cryptkeeper Five (sometimes called CK5), the band consists of founding members Johnny Ott on Vocals/guitar, Jimmy Ray on guitar/vocals, Mikey Groch on bass/vocals, and Tristan Bowen on drums.
Unlike a lot of their fellow rockabilly brethren, the band can rip out gang vocals with a knack for insidiously catchy songs. They can also mix things up like throwing in a sax that livens up “Exit Stage Left,” via Ceilidh Madigan, or what sounds like a musical kitchen sink on “Members Missing,” and “Sweep the Leg, Johnny,” with “Amazing Amy” Matlock on viola and vocals, Tom Reack on organ, Chrissy Isaak on piano and accordion. Thus armed, The Cryptkeeper Five seem to never run out of steam or themes. Songs like “Love Song,” “Of Very Small Brains,” or “Not for Nuthin’/Rats,” the album rolls and rocks straight down the advanced slope, stopping off only briefly to ram through a couple of mid-tempo numbers, “Black Hearts Dawn,” and “The Death of Hope.”

A huge-sounding, boomy rhythm section is accentuated by gang-style vocals that are enveloped by the guitars and other instruments of mass construction. Noting is buried in the sound of the band. You can hear each instrument on its own or as a whole, and that’s not as easy as it sounds. Like the saying goes, “The sum of the parts equals the whole.” Well-developed songs with good melodies and substantial lyrics that strain the limits of poetic unpretentiousness will get the listener more involved in what the band is saying rather than just being a bystander outside looking in.

By not sacrificing mystery and danger, the band keeps fleshing out cool and unusual sounds, like on the title cut, and “The Making of a Roadside Attraction,” but it all works, and works well. If you haven’t heard or seen (they’ve been a staple at Asbury Lanes for a few years now), The Cryptkeeper Five before, than you’re in for something fun and unique. Here’s a band that doesn’t have any laurels to rest on. - Never did, never will.
The Unbeatable Cry is a treasure trove of 12 memorable songs that strip down punk in a parallel to the Ramones’ streamlining of it. A cool record that’s filled with ingeniously catchy hooks, and lyrics. - Phil Rainone, Jersey Beat

"Album of the year for 2012"

The Cryptkeeper Five - "the unbeatable cry"

The Cryptkeeper 5 have already put out the album of the year for 2012, and we aren't even out of winter yet. How is this band not the biggest thing in the world?? Amazing songs, vocals that jump out and grab you by your throat and shake you, up, down, and all around, and well..I'm at a loss for words when it comes to describing how great this record is. Which doesn't happen often. I can talk a nun into buying a ticket to a swingers convention, yet how can I turn that power to good, and convince everyone that loves music to buy this record?? The CK5 had already put themselves into lofty company in my mind with the release of Darker Days/The Rise Of Palace Depression. A double album that hangs in my heart right up there with Rocket To Russia, Pet Sounds, Walk Among Us, and Darkness On The Edge Of Town. I could use all sorts of metaphors and descriptions, but I think those comparisons already give you an indication of what sort of tuneage resides in the rock and roll bowels of this band. The Unbeatable Cry rightfully takes it's place amongst that hit parade. You need this. You really, really need this.

Rating 10/10. My album of the year. Yeah, it's been out since last November, but since I acquired it now, it counts as 2012. Ok, music world, you have 10 months to beat this. I'll console you in December when you don't.

- Jay Ingstrup - Jay Ingstrup,

"Cryptkeeper Five keeps evolving"

Fifteen years have passed since Johnny Ott got together with four of his friends and formed a band called the Cryptkeeper Five.

“We liked names like the Jackson Five and the Dave Clark Five, and we had five members,” Ott said of the band's origins. “So, we just went with something that was kind of goofy — nothing that people would take too serious.”

Ott is still the lead vocalist and guitarist for the Cryptkeeper Five, which will bring its current four-piece lineup to Ground Zero tonight.

“We've been a three-piece band, and we've been a seven-piece band,” Ott said. “It doesn't matter. It (the name) always stays Five.”

No matter the number of members, the Cryptkeeper Five offers a punk-fueled rock 'n' roll show in the tradition of such seminal bands as the Stooges and the Dictators.

The band's most recent album, “The Unbeatable City,” includes 12 turbo-charged tracks that combine catchy hooks and raw emotion.

“The good thing about being a band today is there are so many bands to be influenced by,” Ott said. “People say, ‘Oh, music was so much better yesterday,' but a lot of music today is just as relevant as music yesterday. I listen to the Rolling Stones and then I'll put in an Arcade Fire CD.”

Still, Ott admits that the band — which is rounded out by co-founder Jimmy Ray on guitar, Mikey Groch on bass and Tristan Bowen on drums — has broadened its musical tastes over the years.

“When we started out, we just wanted to be a punk rock band,” Ott said. “We were afraid to branch out. Well, not really afraid, but I think we were a little more closed-minded when we were kids. We're always influenced by the Ramones, but now, we'll take influence from the Beach Boys or the Arcade Fire or even U2. And we like new bands like Delta Spirit.”

Although the Trenton, N.J.-based band's sound is a lot less polished than the music of the E-Street Band, Ott said the Cryptkeeper Five feels a connection to the backing group for Bruce Springsteen.

Growing up in New Jersey, the E-Street Band's music was “inescapable,” Ott said. “But I wasn't huge into them until after we started our band. When you're a kid, you're against everything. ... But then as you get older and more open-minded, you realize, ‘OK, there's something to it.' The longevity of that band is pretty amazing.” - Dan Armonaitis, Spartanburg Herald

"The Cryptkeeper Five - The Unbeatable Cry"

Few bands survive what the Cryptkeeper Five have endured. Even fewer bands have made something really interesting within the music of rock n roll. And maybe that's the reason for the survival of CK5; facing the adversity of the music buisness with heart, creativity and a middle finger. It's clear to see, hear and feel that they're always doing what they want. Cause just when you think you can pin them down, when you think a "genre" would be able to justify their wild and wonderful form of rock n' roll - CK5 surprise you. They are an ever growing beast - turning setbacks into tear-dripping and mosh-pitting rock and roll. They have put - for one and a half decade - all they have into something that has meant and still means so much to so many people all around the world. And we should be lucky we get to witness it all. I know I am

So, here we have The Unbeatable Cry. This album is rawer, and a bit darker, than their last two albums. And I find myself loving every track on this one. Twelve songs that just fit perfectly together. It's the kind of album I can listen to from begininng to end with out wanting to "skip to the favorite track". The production of this album is just great. Who ever mixed and mastered it did a solid job, and every song is presented in a near perfect sound. My favorite tracks would have to be: The Unbeatable Cry, Love Song, Exit Stage Left and Of Very Small Brains. And honorable mentions goes to their version of Members Missing - in which they nailed the gloomy grimness that is the Green Goblyn Project, while still making the song into their own. As for Johnnys vocals; he has have really grown. The desperation is there. So is the heartbroken fury that is his lyrics. But gone is the fifties "bop", replaced by a now even rawer, filthier voice. A vocal preformance that cut into your chest like a shred of broken glas, and intoxicates you like a well-shaken cocktail of Joey Ramone, Meatloaf, Glenn Danzig and Tom Waits.

One thing Im not amazed by is the cover of the album. It's not bad, and I do not disslike it. But compared to the really cool covers they have had before this one - it leaves me a bit unimpressed. But that's far from a problem. This record is so good, that I don't even care if it has an album cover or not. Also, as a Blitzkid fan, I was very amused when I first heard the song Vulture Vulture, and thought "..waaaaait a minute!". Not sure if CK5 payed a tribute to the Blitzkid song "The Casque of Amontillado", or if it was the other way around. Nevertheless; it's always good to hear the two together, in one way or another.

In conclusion: The Unbeatable Cry is a killer album. The Cryptkeeper Five is an amazing band, and I sincerely hope that they keep on growing, keep fighting and keep on being the inspiration that they are. Eagerly I await the future of CK5, and I look forward to experience all what they have left to offer. I know they are far, far from done. To quote Danny & the Juniors; "..rock n' roll is here to stay. It will never die".

9 from 10 Tombstones - Review by H.H. Graveyard Greaser Gang

"Best Rock and Roll Bands"

With this new disc, the world gets a glimpse at what I'd like to call the best house band from hell'... In simple terms, The Cryptkeeper Five are one of the best rock and roll bands of all time to emerge from the Garden State. - - TB Monstrosity

"Pemiere Rock and Roll Talents"

The Capital City's premiere rock and roll talents - The Trentonian - Scott Frost

"The Cryptkeeper Sound"

The best way I can describe The Cryptkeeper sound is if Joey Ramone fronted The E Street Band during 'The Wild and The Innocent' era or if the young Glenn Danzig crooned lead vocals on The Stones' 'Exile on Main St.' - - Chris Bades

"Nothing Ordinary"

When it comes down to it, there's nothing really ordinary about The Cryptkeeper Five, which makes them attractive to people looking for something different - The Press of Atlantic City - Scott Cronick

"Will The Cryptkeeper Five Re-establish Rock 'N' Roll"

"As rigor mortis sets in on the radio and rock receives less airplay, The Cryptkeeper Five dares to dig right into it's roots with an imagination-stimulating sound. C5 draws from it's past with a spontaneity that leaves the listener wondering what they'll do in the future. The Cryptkeeper Five's infectious jukebox mosh and catchy hooks stand out as rebelliously as rock did in the 50's. It captures much of the music's early flavor with a taste of the great punk of the 70's. Simple, yet meaningful songs are the spirit and focus of this Trenton band. If The Cryptkeeper Five continues writting and playing with the sincerity it has displayed so far, they will re-establish the spirit of rock 'n' roll at whatever bar, club or radio station that spreads it's music" - Josh Davidson,

"A Great Band"

"Decked out in matching workshirts and greaser punk aesthetic, The Cryptkeeper Five showcased a muscular, loud and fast garage punk sound with rockabilly influences. The band wasn't afraid to keep moving, pacing the small stage restlessly. (Their) vocalist crooned with an Elvis-by-the-way-of-The Misfits growl, with just the right amount of menace to drive the songs. The band showed their love of fifties and sixties rock with a punky-yet-respectful cover of Ritchie Valens' 'Come On, Let's Go' and Tommy James' 'I Think We're Alone Now'. All in all, a great set by a great band." - Jose Diaz, Ink 19 Magazine

"The Cryptkeeper Five's Breakthrough Record?"

The Cryptkeeper Five " will have you rockin' to the soulful sounds of the sax and piano, while the evil side of Elvis (or a less wicked side of Danzig) bellows out heartfelt melodies with a signature growl. These New Jersey-based hooligans swish 40 years of rock 'n' roll history together with a contemporary greaser punk attitude, leaving you with the visions of Little Richard and The Cramps sharing a personality crisis. 'Little Girl' bounces to a sockhop beat as rock 'n' roll piano bashings work the band up into a frothing, chorus-spewed animal. 'Get in the Mood' ancors the EP with it's goth-touched keyboards, strong backing vocals and rough punk mix that will put the song into heavy rotation on the home stereo. The Cryptkeeper Five may be sitting on it's breakthrough record" - Andrew Magilow,


self release - 12 songs

"Darker Days" 2006
Bony Orbit Records - 15 songs

"The Rise of Palace Depression" 2006
Bony Orbit Records - 13 songs

"Pomade, Switchblades and Their God-damn Rock and Roll: A Creature Triple Feature" 2005
Zombie Stomp Records - 13 songs

"Trenton Makes the Cryptkeeper Five" 2002/2004 Peephole Records - 13 songs

"And Their God-damn Rock&Roll" 2000
Deathrock Records - 8 songs

"Pomade & Switchblades" 1999
Deathrock Records - 12 songs

"Dear Dr X... I Wanna Be the Creature" 1998 Deathrock Records - 13 songs



We love The MIGHTY Ramones!
We love Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band...
We love both Elvises...
Rocket From The Crypt?
The Misfits? Roy Orbison? Johnny Cash? U2?
What about new Rock and Roll? Do you like new Rock and Roll, you ask?
YUP, We Love The Arcade Fire and Against Me and The Black Keys and Delta Spirit!!! HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL

The Cryptkeeper Five, from Trenton New Jersey, have drawn on influences from all these bands and many more to create a sound that can only be considered their own...
The CK5 have toured extensively on the east coast and mid-west in support of several full length releases and have created a loyal cult following both domestically and abroad.
They have been continually featured on CD compilations and have received significant radio airplay. Between 2000 and 2012, they were nominated by the Asbury Park Music Awards in several distinct categories, such as "best live performance", "best avante garde act", "best punk/ska band", "best roots/twang act" and "best garage band". The hard work and many miles have poised them for worldwide notoriety.

As of early October 2014 The Cryptkeeper Five have finished recording and are mixing their newest album THE STRONGHOLD. 

Band Members