Getaway Cruiser

Getaway Cruiser

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By the late '90s, alternative rock was doing anything it could to get away from the tortured arena rock posturing of early-'90s grunge. That meant former hard rockers were picking up turntables, switching on analog synths, constructing drum loops, listening to John Barry records, and finding that those Mercury Rev and Verve albums they ignored were actually pretty good. That's the essence of Getaway Cruiser's eponymous major-label debut -- it is the sound of the grunge era discovering there's a world outside of three chords. Brothers Chris and Drew Peters, the musical team driving Getaway Cruiser, have cribbed from a number of sources, from hip-hop to space rock, to create a diverse sound, but the Butcher Brothers' production makes the album sound like a streamlined, heavy rock version of Garbage with vague hip-hop overtones. Sonically, it can be intriguing at times, but their eclecticism is timid and occasionally forced. Furthermore, singer Dina Harrison is no Shirley Manson; her flat, colorless vocals only emphasize the weak lyrics and uninspired melodies. Still, Getaway Cruiser have some good ideas, they just execute them poorly, hiding their more adventurous instincts behind arena rock guitars, and arbitrarily adding guest raps by Pras and Kool Keith that have nothing to do with the band's core alt-pop sound. Then again, Getaway Cruiser is a debut and it isn't a bad debut -- it shows considerable potential, but considering the group's ambition and collaborators, it could have been a more accomplished album.

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