I’m not going to lie, this one caught my eye in our big review pile mainly because of the band name literally being my initials. Of course, it helps that they actually sound like an interesting listen. With a big emphasis on grooves injected into their hard rock, they add in hints of grunge and punk to give it a raw, fuzzy sound.
As the long intro to opening track, “Bored Ass Tony”, continues, you begin to think they’re an instrumental band, leaving the instruments to portray the angst. And just as you’re getting used to the idea, the raw, snarling vocals kick in. It’s feral but reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age with its psychedelic moments. Elsewhere, title track, “The Cricket Sound” and “Keep Your Secrets” sound like Foo Fighters at their most pissed off.
Whilst “All Day” sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age on acid, it’s also where they wander into Them Crooked Vultures territory. Indeed, it’s no wonder they label themselves as stoner rock. However, there’s plenty of vicious moments such as “Stevie, The Guy Who Didn’t Pay Us”. It’s laden with anger as vocalist Wouter spits out his lyrics, you have to imagine it’s autobiographical. Between that and the layers of fuzz and grime on “Dead Inside”, it shows the band know how to be aggressive among their more serene moments and are just as skilled at both.
However, it’s the last couple of songs where the band shines best. “My Friend Ed” and “Smack Your Neighbour” run seamlessly into each other to make you think it’s one track bordering on the 14-minute mark. However, between the pair of them, they bring everything which has came before on the album and condensed it into these final two songs like a double-barrelled shotgun blast.
The Cricket Sound is a great album to lose yourself in. As the band draw from so many diverse sounds, they mould it into one cohesive sound to make it theirs. The brief dalliances into some of the more unwieldy rock genres ensures they’ve got their own spin on what a rock album can be. Add in the fact it’s by a trio who a clearly comfortable working with each other and you’re on to a winner.
The Cricket Sound is out now