Ditch Croaker

Secrets of the Mule

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From the murky depths of the tiniest indie label (their own, later with help from Twitcher Records), Hoboken, NJ's Ditch Croaker makes the jump to the big bad wolf known as Warner Brothers with no noticeable change in their approach and sound. As they did on their promising CD collection of 7" singles, Chimpfactor, they remain hard to characterize into any recognizable alterna rock milieu. Hints of the Cars and other early-'80s new wave angst still abound, but the sound, aggression, and production squawk of late-'80s/'90s post-punk, especially the Boston variety. Tracks such as "Meatgrinder" bare their teeth, abuzz with harsh, feedback guitars, an industrial whir, and even compressed vocals, but even on the angriest of tunes, they retain their strong sense of song and structure. Most other tracks by Tim, Floyd, and Tim (still of no last names) are more sturdy, alienated power pop churners which never aim to sugar coat or please, yet manage to impress. Still unique, still elusive yet inviting, and still a comer -- this is a secret the mule should share.

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