The Chrome Cranks - Ain't No Lies In Blood
Record Label: Bang
Release Date: February 28, 2012
I feel like it's not my place to review this album; I'll say that right now. The Chrome Cranks, from what I've read, are apparently a band that are trying to revive the old garage rock sound back from before they formed in 1988. I love rock of all kinds, but as soon as I started listening to this album I wanted to break it in half. Then I did some more research and saw that people and reviewers alike seem to really enjoy this album. So maybe there's just something I don't understand or appreciate about this style, but either way, I listened to it for a few days and I'm going to share my take on it.
The worst thing about this album is how it starts. The opener "I'm Trash" is probably the most repetitive song I've ever heard, and the one part that plays over and over again isn't even that creative or exciting, so the song just becomes extremely annoying. The guitar and bass part is just one power chord that occasionally strays a few frets and then goes right back. The drums keep a monotonous, steady beat and the vocals are literally just one note shouted at the same rhythm at various places in the song. The rest of the songs are significantly better than that one, but the trends of repeating riffs and limited creativity seem to be quite prominent.
Occasionally you get some decent song structure, like in "Rubber Rat." Despite some laughable lyrics and vocals that don't have the appeal of a melody nor of aggressive shouting, there is a cool riff in the chorus that definitely adds to the old rock sound the band set out to create. Those parts are definitely the best parts of the album; you can hear them in full force in every song after the opener, but there's still the problem of each and every song consisting of one or two parts and doing nothing to break up the monotony other than a measure long change here and there. It definitely kills the overall replay value of the album; the same part plays so many times in each song that there's really no need to hear them more than a few times. Repetition also kills the ten minute closer "Lover of the Bayou," because needless to say, there's no need to hear the same thing for ten minutes straight.
However, there is a great strength in this album, and that is the guitar work. In most of the songs, guitarist William Weber shows off the rough, edgy style that was prominent in a lot of the old Iggy Pop and The Doors era rock, and he does it quite well, most notably in the bridge of "Star to Star" and the end of "Broken-Hearted King." It's what makes the album worth listening to since nothing else really does anything for these songs, especially not the vocals, which never really span more than two notes in a song.
So the important thing to remember is that this isn't the album to listen to if you don't know the style. It seems to be for either the older crowd or for the kids that grew up wishing they were born in a different decade. I grew up singing along to Simple Plan and Yellowcard music videos on MTV2, so this isn't really something I can get into. But hey, if you like the genre enough to overlook the repetition and oversee what I view as a flaw, then by all means, give this album a shot.