There's a large difference between just banging away in a basic foursome configuration (guitar, guitar, drums, bass) and being able to keep it simple yet still dredge up the barest most naked bones of rock and roll while breaking them in half in order to extract the marrow. The Chrome Cranks know exactly what that difference is: twisted passion. These historied bastards saw their golden days in the 1990s, and that olden line-up's resurrected here in a blasting, noisy, raucous, and bludgeoning but curiously stylized elegant spinerip that calls up the MC5, Blue Cheer, Iggy 'n Da Boyz, Jon Spencer, and their own unique gutter cabaret, a punk reprise that puts a guitar and set of drums in the hands of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, pours bleach down their throats, and shoves the gentz in front of a crazed audience. As Mack pockets his knife and runs screaming, ya can't help but grin from ear to ear at the weird propriety of it all.
Perhaps the most surprising element is the injection of avant-noise, ofttimes not unlike Pere Ubu's early stuff, but then Bob Bert (drums) came from Sonic Youth, so that had to have helped. Peter Aaron and William Weber (guitars) issued from—oh sweet Christ!—G.G. Allin's Murder Junkies, so they're mental, and Jerry Teel (bass) stepped out of Honeymoon Killers; thus, it ain't like Steely Dan was consulted at any point. Frankly, I'd toss this CD on after some Einstuerzende Neubauten, among other cool wreckage, so that should give a hint to the chaos and freak-noir aspects. And, yeah, t'ain't difficult to see why Blood had Michael Gira "screaming with joy" (his own words) while contributing cover art. All up, this is one of those CDs whose whole far transcends its parts 'cause these cats have bent brains and come from some side dimension whose inhabitants look a lot like human beings but sure as fuck don't think like 'em. And, God almighty, what they do to Roger McGuinn's Lover of the Bayou! Kinda like Neil and Crazy Horse as the meth kicks in.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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