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Middle Class Rut – New Low

November 5, 2010 by  

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Middle Class Rut – New Low

NAME: Middle Class Rut
DATE: 22November2010

LABEL: Bright Antenna Records


FIVE WORD REVIEW: There be better singles m’thinks!

LOCATION: Sacremento, CA

LINE UP: Sean Stockham (vocals, drums), Zack Lopez (vocals, guitars)

MCR - New Low.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: On first impressions of forthcoming single ‘New Low’, I hate to say it, but for some reason the band A shot into my mind. No offence of course to the A fans, I’m a firm believer in each to their own (I like SuBo for her looks, not her music..). But more importantly, Middle Class Rut deploy a sound largely more characterised by Dinosaur Pile-Up or Alice In Chains, who they recently toured with.

Upon reading the press release, I was amazed to find out that only two of them had moulded this monumental sound. Their ability to create such a sonic assault on other album tracks such as ‘Busy Bein’ Born’ is astounding, yet on first single ‘New Low’, you can hear an element of hollowness as a result of their limited assembly. The guitars are, however, layered on this track, and upon watching a few live videos, I saw that either the band were playing to a backing track or had a session musician in one of those newly discovered invisibility cloaks (see Guardian website or Harry Potter films). Thus, can the band genuinely make a fuss of being a “two-piece”; I’ll let you decide.

The fact the song doesn’t develop an intricate woven structure of intricate layers isn’t a bad thing. There is an honesty and straightforwardness to the track, and comfort in knowing that there isn’t a platitude wall of synth for either of the members to hide behind. Highlights of the song include the chorus, where Lopez accompanies an octave pedal to his syncopated riff, materialising the opening of the refrain ‘I’ve got a new low..’.

Lopez’s vocals sound like a cross between the subtle punk edge of Dexter Holland and the flamboyancy of Perry Farrell. As with the vocals, both the guitar and drums merely stride invariably along, and fail to recreate the intensity and energy that other tracks on the album build to. ‘New Low’ is a good song, but it is a good song on a great album, not a single.

SOUNDS LIKE: Janes Addiction, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Alice In Chains

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: If the band name is any indication: you’re not rich, you’re not poor, and you’re caught in the abyss of mediocrity/had a bit of a stinker


Submitted By Matt Goodwin



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