Middle Class Rut - No Name No Color
Two can be as powerful, potent and full bodied as four. This has been a point well proven over the years by the likes of Winnebago Deal, The Black Keys, Death From Above 1979 and, to a lesser extent, The Kills. It's a trend that's built upon by the briskly atmospheric rocking, Sacramento pairing of Sean Stockham and Zack Lopez (Middle Class Rut), in opener, ‘Busy Bein' Born'. That strikes just the right balance between paranoia, rhythmic drive and hanging atmospheric implanting. Vocal potency makes several appearances on this bracing full length, an example being the tearing screamo jaunt, ‘USA'. Pace changing ability glares out through the haunted, emo/slow rocking bemused stammer, ‘New Low'. Blending in an urban edge and twining guitars that produce a retro feel.
Racing Winnebago Deal skirting, metal tinged racing rock, sees this pair explode, ‘Lifelong Dayshift'. Lopez's gritty, angst ridden vocals and crushing rock guitars ram home this tale of bemusement. Lashing out at the self-centred:
"Your life, isn't worth wasting mine on."
Intensity and an ability to instil a hanging, reflective touch to proceedings provides for a mixture of energy and reflection. It also results in some variety that gives the album an edge. ‘Alive Or Dead', uses rumbling atmospheric guitars and trotting percussion to chilling mood building effect, an unexpected rockabilly slant shows that diversity is becoming a friendly bedfellow for this pair. The vocals merge together nimbleness and grit, promoting this self-loathing tale out of the categories of self-centred and self-pitying for the sake of it.
Feelings of entrapment are escaped out of through controlled catharsis and rhythm, ‘Sad To Know'. This song also gives off a fuzzy retro vibe, as the volume increases without having a forced feel to it. Racing guitars take over in the intensity stakes, as the vocals take on a refreshing distanced echo, almost as though they're drowning in the ripping guitar led melee. Discordant guitar profiling and clanging percussion sets the tone for the 70s rocking romp, ‘Thought I Was'. Grimy nasal pushed vocals hang just the right side of arrogance and fall short of you being able to throw in a Beastie Boys comparison, but, only just, sometimes.
Middle Class Rut have taken their time and used the EP format well to lead up to this crunching, roving and gritty debut album. Potency and hanging atmospherics provide for the variety and the sincerity flows naturally out of this pair of genuine performers.
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