Thursday, March 6, 2014
THE CRINGE – “Hiding In Plain Sight”
LABEL: Listen Records
Review By: Alan Holloway
Mention New York band The Cringe to most people and they will no doubt say “Who?”, or possibly “Why are they called that?”. Well, that’s what I thought, anyway, as I prepared for what is their fourth full length album. Their press release makes the obligatory Foo Fighters references, but what comes out of the speakers is something altogether original and entertaining.
Technically, The Cringe could be folded into the Indie pigeonhole, but where Indie music tends to be stifled and samey these days, “Hiding In Plain Sight” sees The Cringe explore music for the sake of it, playing with rock and roll, hard rock and melodic rock along with hints of old school punk and a tiny bit of honky tonk. What they do have that will help them win over fans is some very catchy choruses, none more so that “Finally Gonna Be On Your own”, and the aggressively bouncy “Gotta Find A Way”. The Cringe’s main man is John Cusimano, who handles the songwriting and vocals as well as some guitar work. He hasn’t got a voice that will blow you away, but suits the music pretty well and can carry a tune. He can also write good tunes which exude passion, so important and so overlooked by many bands these days. Halfway through the album there’s a very nice, mid paced song called “Make Me Something” which sees him display some impressive emotion and make what could have been an average song a whole lot better. Hell, even goes a bit Jim Morrison on the gloriously retro “Lord Jim”, which has a neat beat and some cool organ sounds.
“Hiding In Plain Sight” is something a little different, yet not so different it will scare anyone away. I’m sure the new York hipster scene love them, but they’ve got enough guts to appeal to the out and out rock brigade and also tweenies who want to find a cool new band. They are certainly an odd choice to support the flashy and quite silly Steel Panther, but that’s just what they are doing this month in the UK. All I can say is if you are going be sure to see the support band as they may surprise you (although they don’t have any songs about shagging).