Short and catchy punk anthems are the order of the day on Mclusky‘s debut album, Mclusky Do Dallas. This band are perfectors of driving, energetic, hard-edged punk rock, with their 14 memorable tracks running in at just 36 minutes.
They open with recent single Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues, a guitar-heavy, catchy number opening with a blast of rhythmic hi-hats which soon merges into standard punk-rock territory. The song’s backing is tight, adorned by a certain rawness of sound, courtesy of producer Steve Albini. Guitars feature prominently on the track and sound great underneath the song’s gruff and charismatic vocals.
No New Wave No Fun carries on a similar trend, a filtered guitar motif preceding a short, catchy tune, although the sound here is even rawer, its driving resonance taking inspiration from The Hives, but adding its own heavy psyche and mean soul to it.
What We’ve Learned breaks the mould, taking in a more downbeat aura as a plethora of punk influences emerge. One of the more melodic tracks on offer here against a hard-rock backdrop, this could almost be a millennium era Sex Pistols, a blend of guitar-driven melodies and powerful rhythms.
The feedback-drenched Dethink To Survive explodes when its heavy beat cuts in and is full of foot-pounding energy, an ode to the punk innovators who were the inspiration behind this album. Shortly afterwards, the band launch into To Hell With Good Intentions, another of their recent singles which blends cocky punk arrogance with heavy beats. It’s one of the album’s finer moments; unfortunately much of the songwriting which follows is a little lacklustre in comparison.
The World Loves Us And Is Our Bitch combines falsetto vocals and a promising chorus but sadly fails to really find its feet whilst ‘Alan Is A Cowboy Killer’ starts as a mellow and melancholic tune but soon merges into standard punk rock fare.
Mclusky close the quirky album with Whoyouknow, the album’s high point climaxing in a memorable, fast and furious hard rock finale which takes The Strokes as its main inspiration.
And that’s it. Unless you leave the CD running for the secret track which is a combination of hard-edged punk and noise-rock.
Mclusky’s new album mixes the odd genius stroke with mediocrity; it’s an energetic album, sometimes triumphant and other times dull and lifeless. With inspiration from The Hives and The Strokes, it’s the band’s two singles which stand out from the album, but rest assured they’re on the way up.