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Crackout - Oh No!


Review: Jack Foley

GOING off the strength of Crackout's second album, Oh No!, the band would appear to be on the cusp of great things.

Sitting comfortably between the sort of indie Britpop of early Cure, or Gene, and the current trend for American punk rock, the Buckinghamshire-based lads prove equally adept at each.

Former singles, Out of Our Minds (which opens the album in energetic fashion), and This Is What We Do (an IndieLondon faovurite), are typical of what to expect - although not entirely.

Crackout can also tone it down, play it mellow, or crank it up, and well and truly rock-out, in the American sense of the word.

There is a rawness about the sound of the album, borne out in the brash guitars and crisp vocals, which makes it sound fresh and exciting, while the short running time fits the bill perfectly.

Singer/guitarist, Steven Eagles, seems to have a fondness for Robert Smith's vocal style, while some of his guitar work is reminiscent of early Cure - before much of their work became epic in length.

Lyrics such as 'sixteen barrels of insects, pour them all over my head', on Insect Song, also go some way to provoking comparisons with Lullaby's style of songwriting, while the chiming guitars of tracks such as Wait and Pale feel Cure-inspired.

It is during these moments that the album feels strongest, eschewing early Britpop values with carefree abandon, and presenting Crackout at their most catchy.

The larger rock numbers, though, are just as good, even if they are less likely to appeal to as wide a fanbase.

All This Colour, for instance, is a good rock track, if a little too prone to veering into Hundred Reasons territory, while the sweeping Robots Have Feelings could quite easily be the type of track that Bush produce for the American grunge-rock market.

That said, such moments are in short supply, meaning that the catchy likes of Freakin' Night and the laidback Feel At Home are what linger in the memory longest.

Crackout, it seems, have delivered a little cracker.

Track listing:
1. Out Of Our Minds
2. Insect Song
3. This Is What We Do
4. Wait
5. Freakin' Night
6. All This Colour
7. Pale
8. Way Too Long
9. Robots Have Feelings
10. Feel At Home

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