The Crack

So what if the artwork for Thundercrack's debut album is fluorescent orange and bright purple divided by a jagged lightning bolt? So what if the band's photo is converted into a heavily contrasted, near-animated look? And what of the leader holding a squarish checkered guitar while the other two don rectangular shades? Judge not, lest ye be judged.

From the cover, one might expect Thundercrack to sport absurd hairdos, wear skinny ties, and work desperately at reviving '80s New Wave, No Wave, etc. Such is not the case. These three fellows -- lead singer, guitarist, and organist Nick Normal; drummer and organist Jay Automatic; and guitarist and pianist Stanley Roadrunner -- make fuzzed-out synth-driven garage rock, stomping and yelping all the way through.

Led by echoing electrified sneer-singing that recalls the Butthole Surfers, "ES 125" rides on a catchy beat, tambourine slaps, and a dirty guitar riff. "Get My Money Back" is probably the most pissed-off, grating and indecipherable, while the bluesy "Fallin' Off the Log" has deep handclap-fed rhythm and danceable, low, thumping beats. "Cheap Cosmetic" does start out with an '80s synthesizer robotic whine, but the haunting guitar line and rock 'n' roll croons bust in to remind you that this ain't no retro skinny-tie act.


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