mon 18/06/2018

CD: Middle Class Rut - Pick Up Your Head | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Middle Class Rut - Pick Up Your Head

CD: Middle Class Rut - Pick Up Your Head

Tuneful Californian noiseniks generate a contagious racket

Middle Class Rut, taking things literally

For starters, Middle Class Rut is a great name for a band. It sounds irritated, punky, full of fighting spirit. Happily the duo from Sacramento California, live up to it. Their second album is an impassioned roar, occasionally a howl of disgust, grounded somewhere between punk and heavy rock, but smeared with distortion and MCR’s own take on the wall of sound.

What really sets them apart are their drums. Sean Stockham attacks his kit with ferocity but also precise rhythmic bite. At least half the songs recall the Beastie Boys’ use of Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”. They’re not hip hop, though – guitarist-singer Zack Lopez bellows his lyrics, teetering between tunefulness and gut anger, clearly audible amidst the hurricane the pair create. On one song, the album’s best, “Dead Eye”, Stockham takes over on the mic and changes the mood with a plaintive existential ballad over a martial beat - “Try not to waste your life thinking about the end,” he sings affectingly. The song was apparently inspired by the recent deaths of friends and family, and it sounds like it.

Elsewhere the ghost of glam, notably Slade’s battering stomp, raises its gaudy head, notably on the bangin’ “Leech” and “Weather Vane”, but MCR are also capable of machine-like attack, especially on the excellent “Cut The Line” which conjurs notions of a robot army on the march. They're a band with a belligerent noisiness atypical of their peers, and it’s a treat. They have arrived on the bottom rung of the rock’n’roll ladder, having played with big names such as Muse and Them Crooked Vutures, yet like Black Keys before them – although not sonically – there’s a raw edge that sets them apart. Pick Up Your Head is, consequently, a propulsive yet secretly poppy jackhammer of an album that demands attention.

Watch the video for "Aunt Betty"

They're a band with a belligerent noisiness atypical of their peers, and it’s a treat


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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