Album Review: Middle Class Rut
Album: No Name, No Colour
Label: Bright Antenna
If you need a modern musical definition of the word ‘cohones’, then look no further than the sound of Middle Class Rut. No Name, No Colour is one hell of a ballsy recording, made even more astounding by how such a gigantic sound has come from just two members – Zack Lopez and Sean Stockham are making a case for being one of the loudest duets in rock at the moment.
By the time ‘Busy Being Born’ meets its obliterating conclusion, it’s impossible to believe that such a din has been created by just a drummer and a guitarist. No Name, No Colour is loud and bombastic in a way that larger groups could only wish to attain, and other duos should probably take a note of. The fact that you just know it’s a sound that could fill your Wembley’s and your o2’s suggests this band have got the definition of bombastic nailed.
For a lot of the album it’s that revelation that holds interest. Look past their unique make-up, and Middle Class Rut’s music is a recipe of fast-paced riffs and fist-pumping rebellion – a Rage Against the Machine-lite, dosed up on a classic British punk attitude.
Lopez’s voice is the pin holding it all to the cork board. Emphatic, it delicately balances the line of aggression and pure sing-a-along in a way that would make Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) proud. His lyrics, while not mind-blowing, suit; there’s a lot of self-aggrandising, a feeling of youthful discontent and a lashing out at (fairly easy targets) such as American gun control. It’s unlikely to make you pontificate for too long, but their accessibility fulfils a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
No Name, No Colour’s fundamental flaw is its lack of ideas. With such a blast of an opening half, the album struggles to maintain its momentum, and the duo seems to start relying precariously on the same tricks towards the end. This can probably be put down to the self-imposed limitations they put on themselves as just two members. While the likes of the White Stripes toy with a multitude of instruments, Middle Class Rut employ the same guitar/drums combo, and that does get staid after a while.
No Name, No Colour is in no ways a bad album. Its opening half is a rollicking ride, and packs in some great riffs and a vocal style that isn’t far off penning stadium rock anthems – no small feat for just two chaps. But the novelty does wear off within the space of the album which is a major concern. In their defence, No Name, No Colour is merely bringing everyone bang up to date with the band’s founding years. It’s where they go now that will be the biggest test – hopefully they haven’t already found themselves in a rut they can’t get out of.
Originally published at The Line of Best Fit.