On the fantastic Pick Up Your Head, Middle Class Rut has exceeded all expectations regarding how a second album should sound. That sound itself is fuller, the songwriting is stronger, and the musicianship is just brilliant. While both albums are great in their own right, Pick Up Your Head is definitely a step beyond No Name No Color.
“Born Too Late” is, to put it bluntly, an explosion and might be the remnants of No Name No Color being shed as it gallops along like a bull at a rodeo and opens Pick Up Your Head loudly. In addition to all the expansions noted, the instrumentation has expanded considerably as well. Not satisfied being a guitar/drum duo any longer, MCR introduce ye olde bass playing as early on as the second track here when “Leech” kicks in. That low end continues through “Weather Vein” and “No More” which features some subtle guitar slides making it stand out from the rest.
One of my favorites, though, has to be the sonic excursion that is “Cut The Line” which borders on static noise at points but still walks a fine melodic line accentuated by the fact that it sounds as if drummer Sean Stockham is banging on trash cans throughout the whole song. Later on, “Sing While You Slave” offers up some more straight up jams and solid grooves while “Pick Up Your Head” has these intricate beats that Sean Stockham easily nails out of the proverbial musical park. Vocalist/guitarist Zack Lopez on the other side of the spectrum balances his token scream with a melodic foundation that sounds nothing like he’s done before as heard on “Dead Eye” or on rocker “You Don’t Belong”.
Pick Up Your Head is available on June 25th through Bright Antenna / ILG. Pre-orders are live here and speaking of live, you can see them all summer long as part of the Rockstar Uproar Festival. Go here for dates.
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