CRACKUPS, a trio or a sometimes-pictured quartet are set to release their album, Greetings From Earth on May Way records on September 11. The band, normally very busy on the show circuit has been idle like everyone else during this pandemic. What a time to release an 18-minute scorcher for all the sedentary music fans of the world and give them a reason to get up off their roommates' couches.
I once saw Green Day a few years back and they announced from stage that they were now going to play the whole album, Dookie front to back in the middle of their show. I thought, “I need a new beer for this”. So, I set off to find one, upon return it was over, just as quickly as it started. Punk is notorious for short, terse, pithy songs and albums. Blink 182 and you miss them. After all, the bands have a lot to convey in a short period of time. CRACKUPS are not Green Day or Blink 182 for that matter, no songs about girlfriends stepping on your xbox here. This is the punk that your parents should hate (if they don’t trade them in). CRACKUPS are about to deliver.
I knew immediately that I was going to love this album as soon as I hit the play button. I quickly paused it and checked, “how many songs on here?” Seven. Oh good! That means I have 18 minutes to slip into CRACKUPS's world (I’m trying very hard not to put the word “The” in front of the word CRACKUPS, I bet they hate that more than being in the Trainstation). The band as a whole has a sound they’ve created and they never let go of it throughout the album, that is paramount for a punk, garage-rock kind of release, after all, you don’t want to leave one garage for another garage during your experience, right?
Please tell me you understand.
CRACKUPS' rhythm section is mean, and tight, and they make a lot of noise. The drummer and bassist may have been in the womb together, not sure yet, but anyway we hate ******g wombs, see, the kind of mood I’m in now? Swarming guitar tones abound, and a lot of them, not the modus operandi for punk. Sometimes they’re gnat-like, buzzing, Class-A riffs throughout, almost rockabilly, or bluesy, or ala Southern Culture on the Skids type of vibe. Stay with me, it really, really works here. It’s almost rootsy or something. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Sex Pistols; Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Bad Brains, Crackup’s paradox is that they are playing and writing music that is not supposed to give a ***K about anything, but it gives a ***K about everything, especially regarding production and presentation.
Wet Sheets is an admirable opener, so is White Fruit, they both engage the listener rhythmically and set the stage for this powerhouse, punk release.
Television Screen and Getting The Vibes are where things get interesting for this reviewer. Guitar riffs are accessible, almost to the point of making you pick up a guitar and play along because of their “hookiness”. Both tracks are mood-evoking, mind-altering, and artful. Television Screen has these great chords behind the track that have no place in the garage, yet they have a place in this garage – maybe even organ tones I detect? Righteous. Getting The Vibes uses this creative guitar noise behind the track. It’s this which puts these songs in a two-car garage, rather than a single. It’s garage rock, but it’s a really great garage, things are organized, purposeful, hell you could almost live there. Trainstation is a fist full of guitar to the face and in my opinion one that produces the most nectar from the punk flower arrangement.
Honorable mention belongs to Liar. A world-class guitar hook, it pays extreme attention to its tone and to letting the “punk police” have the night off. It’s exactly what the Dr. ordered for the end of this album. It’s also, my favorite vocal delivery on the release, the unusual melody line and effect treatment are a welcome addition to this collection. Liar does its job well of leaving you wanting to search out more from this must-hear band.
You may have asked yourself at one time or another “Where can punk evolve to? Where can it go?” ***k off, it’s right here.
Find CRACKUPS' song 'Liar' on our New Rock 2020 playlist!
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