The Cringe – “Hiding In Plain Sight” Album review

The Cringe – “Hiding In Plain Sight”
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The Cringe actually formed in 2004 and have had some high profile support slots with diverse acts such as The New York Dolls, The Hold Steady and The Bravery. The band are led by John Cusimano but he is also joined by some talented musicians, with some great experience. The band consists of drummer Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live band, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow), lead guitarist and singer James ‘Roto’ Rotondi (Mr Bungle, Air), and bassist Jonny Matias (Crash Moderns).  Given the diverse nature of the band it won’t come as a surprise to see that the album is a mixed and entertaining affair.

It opens up with “Rushing Through The World”, which is an in your face song which has an almost Foo Fighters feel. They then enter top quality pop rock territory on “Finally Gonna Be On Your Own” (not surprising given the Crash Modern link). It’s an upbeat, melodic, rocker which should be played whilst driving down the highway. “Deep Girl” is similar, but adds a bit of funk swagger in to the mix. The pop rocking sound continues with “Gotta Find A Way” with the added melody of a piano before you hit the great mid song break. This gives it a rocky,power pop, feel a la Cheap Trick.
“Make Me Something” slows things down, as it moves in to a big ballad which, once upon a time, would have been featured all over MTV and US commercial rock radio. The slower pace continues with “Gimme Resurrection”, but now we are talking great, laid back, coolness. This is the Summer on the beach, chill out track, for the album.

Things get a little heavier and darker with “Lord Jim”. It has a brooding bass line and a harder melody which is very different to the overall sound of the rest of the album. “Blame It All on Me” soon brings us swiftly out of the gloom and back to the sunshine. It’s another cracking pop rock number which keeps building up and down until it reaches the brash chorus. The album ends with “String You Along”, which again has a harsher edge than some of the earlier tracks. This is the one that you could see the band really smashing out live, to demonstrate all the bands considerable musical skills.
This is a really great modern rock album which combines some great variety of styles. They are all firmly in the pop/rock side of things, thanks to the focus on the melody and tunes. Unlike many albums though, there is still some variety and each song has something different about it. Given the background and experience of the band it should really not come as a surprise that that they have created a big rock album, which is sadly so very rare these days.

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