Like the White Stripes, California’s MC Rut (aka Middle Class Rut) make their stripped down noise as a backward leaning guitar-drum duo. However, kitch-blues revivalism this isn’t. MC Rut make pop-rock that could fill stadiums, and they make it sound BIG. There’s such a glut of obvious influences here it’s impossible to cover them all. The sound, especially the vocals, owes an obvious debt to Jane’s Addiction, although they sometimes come off sounding more like Blink 182. The music lies somewhere between BRMC and Torche – there’s indie, punk, stoner/doom, there’s a nod to robot repetition of Queens of the Stone Age and perhaps even the space-age stylings of Cave in.
If you’re starting to get the sense of a band that’s trying to please everyone, then you’re probably about right – they quote Jonny Cash, Radiohead and Sepultura as influences on their MySpace site. This EP is aimed squarly at the popular market. Sure, the vocals are shouty at times, and there’s a distinct whiff of middle-american angst here, but isn’t that what Green Day are selling bucket loads doing at the moment?
That said, trying to be popular isn’t a sin per se, especially if you manage to hold on to your respecatbility while doing it, something that MC Rut seem capable of doing. You’ll find yourself humming along after 1 listen, and punching the air after 2. This is well crafted pop-rock of an order well in advance of most of their peers, and well worth repeated listens.