Music Reviews


Chrome Rats vs. Basement Ruts

Gold Standard

Now this is some hot crap! Whew! The Chromatics play post-punk math funk in the vein of Mission of Burma and Gang of Four, and they make me glad to be alive. This album is one sassy glare and snotty look after another; the beats are ferocious and defiant, and it•s all about attitude. Chrome Rats vs. Basement Ruts is absolutely essential (and I•m not exaggerating).

Let•s remember, “punk” is supposed to mean defiant, obnoxious and threatening. Given the word•s original meaning, Chromatics are pure punks. They shirk what is “cool” in the world of indie, emo, screamo, math, or whatever has been going on for the past few years, and go for something completely offensive, yet wonderful. The beats here are plodding, riddled with hi-hat absurdities and other tomfoolery. The guitars are grating, high pitched and quite vulgar. The bass is super ringy and overdriven. The vocalist is more of a showman and snotty boy than anything else, as he cuts loose on just about every track, reminding me of Nation of Ulysses-era Ian Svenonius. The songs come together to make odd-timing, off kilter and very funky masterpieces of everything that a rock band could and should be.

This is not the kind of music that the novice “punk” will enjoy: it’s too arty for the gutter punks and metal-core crowd, too old sounding for the emo kids, too wussy for the hardcore kids and many will say it’s too sloppy and amateurish. These things may be true, but I absolutely love this record. I swear, if you•re looking to give something unique a try, you won•t be sorry with Chrome Rats vs. Basement Ruts.

Gold Standard Laboratories:

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