Chrome Cranks

Chrome Cranks

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Oddly enough, it's the debut, the first Chrome Cranks album, that rocks the hardest. Where it takes most bands a few discs to fully develop their style, their chops, their sure-footedness -- if they are to develop it at all -- the Chrome Cranks, with this self-titled debut, show themselves as a band in absolute command of its trade. This is possibly the strongest album in the Chrome Cranks' oeuvre, and likely the bluesiest, noisiest, and grittiest. Where later albums showed a decided bent toward almost textbook garage rock, Chrome Cranks blisters with Pussy Galore-styled noise, feedback, and rawness, as well as Cramps-like sleaze -- all big beats and Quaalude-pulsed blues howls. What an excellent sense of pacing, mood development, and change, mostly governed by Peter Aaron's Iggy Pop-like knack for understanding the right moment in which to slur, the right one in which to speak, and the right one in which to yowl, warble, or sing. And he does it without the affectation that normally plagues similarly garagey/noisy/artsy New York outfits. Like the Laughing Hyenas, the Chrome Cranks show a distinct and visceral understanding of the seedy underbelly of American music, and nowhere in their catalog will you find it more clearly and purely articulated than here.

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