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The Cronics - Things your cat can't swallow (MRR)

Don't let the name fool you. This bunch is NOT a punk band, despite their extremely punk sounding moniker. It's the sort of name you thought would never see the light of day outside of someone's garage and their first few practice sessions. Once again let me emphasise, this is NOT punk. Shame really, they probably would be a good punk band.

This six-track album sounds like it came two decades too late and definitely comes in two halves. In the first half, these poor fuckers appear to be based in a totally different time zone to the rest of the world, one where it's okay to be a Mark Lamar lookalike. God help the rest of us if we ever find ourselves there. Opener 'Pseudo Reality' is a shock to the system. A shock because it's such a blatant Rolling Stones rip off.

'Mr. Wonderful' improves the quality a bit with its fuller sound. The whole song revolves around the question "Why is my life not like theirs... when will I have my day and how will it be?". The "theirs" in question are Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Perry Farrell. I may not be one of these fine fellows that you admire but here's my advice, write some better songs and then maybe people will like you.

Almost as if they knew this advice was forthcoming, the album does get better - slowly. The only problem is that because the album is so short it means that just as you find yourself liking what you hear it's over. The saving grace on the 80s style lounge track 'Easy come, easy go', is the bassline. American college radio rock is stamped all over 'Lie to yourself'. The vocals here are an improvement and it harks back to a period when the songs you heard on the radio were good. Strangely enough, Reef come to mind every now and then.

Ken McGrath

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