Middle Class Rut - No Name No Color
Ladies and Gentlemen...are you ready to rock? Middle Class Rut, a duo hailing from Sacramento, California are dishing out the invites. Crafted over a number of years and road tested via supporting various US rock glitterati on tour Middle Class Rut serve up a distinctly melodic rock album. There’s a deliberate attempt here to make heavy rock more accessible. What this means in reality, apparently, is fewer guitar solos and none of that shouty screamy business.
Some have compared Middle Class Rut’s sound to rock legends Jane’s Addiction, but this really only extends to the vocals. It’s probably an unhelpful comparison as Perry Farrell’s vocals were quickly joined by Dave Navarro’s guitar pyrotechnics and there’s no such musical escalation in Middle Class Rut’s game. Instead we have a series of songs that whilst well crafted, trend towards the pedestrian and it’s this sense of predictability that is their undoing.
I like to listen to the album a few times first and then read the supporting information about them. I don’t even like to look at the artwork until I’ve got a good sense of the music. Whilst listening to this album there was a nagging sense about the rhythm section: the guitar and vocals were getting the thumbs up but the drum and bass seemed to be letting the side down. Songs may rise and fall in intensity but in the background the rhythms seemed unaffected by what the rest of the song was up to. Reading that MCR are a duo explains the issue.
This is an album that leaves you with a vague sense of disappointment. From the opening bars the expectations start to build but it doesn’t deliver on this promise. There’s a technical appreciation that this big sound can be made by just two people, but on a musical level, less can sometimes just mean less.