Pick Up Your Head

Middle Class Rut

Bright Antenna, 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I might have guessed the duo of Zach Lopez and Sean Stockham, i.e. Middle Class Rut, hailed from Northern California. Though they don't exactly sound like seminal outfits from their hometown Deftones or Far, they certainly seem cut from the same cloth as they apply noisy, metallic moments into a bombastic form of hard rock meets alt-rock.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Middle Class Rut's sophomore album starts off with the visceral “Born Too Late,” where drums explode and remain the focus through a forceful rock song with an almost industrial backbone in a Ministry sort of way. From there the band show one of their main strengths – groove filled and layered rock. Tunes like “Leech” and “Weather Veil” bring to mind a Jane's Addiction meets Quicksand vibe plus a wailing guitars approach that works quite well.

The second half of the album is every bit as explosive as the first, with the anthemic “Sing While You Slave” and the charged “You Don't Belong,” but there's also much restraint with acoustic guitars on “Dead Eye.” Near the end "Aunt Betty" is one of the best songs here, a great blend of melody and abrasiveness with some post-hardcore feelings, and they exit on the subdued and hazy "Take A Shot."

Apparently Middle Class Rut expands to a five piece live, understandably. There's just too much going on here for two people to pull off live. While the band took a very back to basics approach by just recording it themselves in a room, the sounds produced here are tailor made for stadium rock blasting and it's hard not to imagine these songs played live. There's no denying that Pick Up Your Head is a great platform for MCR's sound, but to be fully understood I assume this needs to be experienced in person.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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