BY FRED MILLS
In this life there are three types of rock records: the kind that smacks you hard right off the bat but soon loses its impact and gets filed away (or, more likely, traded in); the kind that takes a few spins to start to sink in and gradually grows on you (we call these “sleepers”); and the kind that smacks you hard and then, against all odds, just gets better and better every time you play it and you wind up forcing all your friends to listen to it with you (they then start to cross to the other side of the street when they see you coming, but you get the idea).
Chrome Cactus, by an innovative young quartet from Austin called The Young, falls into the latter category. Self-described (accurately, too) by the band as influenced by “pedal-stompers worldwide,” The Young does indeed put the pedal to the metal, and with Tim Green of The Fucking Champs producing, the octane level is dangerously high. From the dirty-ass whunggg of opening track “Metal Flake” (given the foregoing context, there’s a songtitle that should tell you something about the band) and the sturdy motorific-bordering-on-motorik throb of “Cry of Tin” through the glam-slam anthemism of “Ramona Cruz” and the interstellar overdrive rawk that is the delightfully titled “Blow The Scum Away,” these dudes know just when to goose the gas and when to hit the brakes. Images of vintage shoegaze and stoner rock bands dance maddeningly on the eyelids while Chrome Cactus is blowing free—one minute you think “Swervedriver,” the next “Fun Manchu”—but in the final estimation, this band’s as unique and visceral as they come.
Get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway, lads. I’ll have my thumb poked out…
DOWNLOAD: “Blow the Scum Away,” “Metal Flake,” “Ramona Cruz”