Italian/Icelandic band My Cruel Goro release conventional debut EP
Debut EP’s are tricky things. Don’t deliver and you’ll alienate your existing fan base, but over deliver and the hype machine goes into overdrive and all future releases might be judged overtly harshly. This is what Italian/Icelandic band My Cruel Goro are facing. After a year on the live Italian circuit, and being compared to The Clash, Stranglers, Ash, Weezer, Arctic Monkeys, and The Jam expectations are high for them to deliver something not just memorably but remarkable.
Clash kicks things off with a wall of guitars and, almost, deafening drums. So good so far. When the vocals appear they are slightly swamped by the sheer size of the music. When you start like Justin Gatlin out of the blocks you can’t really take your foot off the gas, and there isn’t really anywhere else to go expect straight to the finish line. Crapford follows similar pattern. Both have slight different tempos and textures, but it’s the same song two times. Musically these are formulaic indie punk rockers. Fast guitars, are backed by faster drums. There is nothing wrong with them, but considering My Cruel Goro’s hype more was slightly expected.
Standout track Glue Buzz redeems itself as the second half of the track is effectively a two and a half instrumental outro. Compositional speaking this is a tour de force as the interplay of the instruments is excellent and their ability to build up, tear down and build up higher is exquisite. It really marks it stand out from the previous two tracks and gives the listener the nod that My Cruel Goro have the potential of being incendiary live, as their glowing reviews hint at.
While there isn’t anything massively wrong with My Cruel Goro’s debut, the band are proficient at playing and their compositions are solid, what they offer and what you get are two slightly different things. If you are expecting the political message of the Clash, coupled with the caustic attitude of the Ramones, with the melody and playfulness of Ash and Weezer you’re going to be disappointed. What we are left with is overdriven guitars, frenetic drums and discordant vocals. Although there is nothing wrong with this, however given the vivid and sanguine reviews, it feels like a mediocre meal in a Michelin starred restaurant. My Cruel Goro might need to go back to the drawing board me thinks…