Crud: Crud on Monster Island (2010)

Bio (excerpted from crud313.com):
Super-charged fetish rock that taunts and seduces you into submission. Crud creates sights and sounds that linger. Think Fight Club. Think A Clockwork Orange. Think you’ve seen anything like it? Think again. It’s “Grindhouse” meets “Easy Rider” – audio crack for deviants.

Musicians:
Vinnie Dombroski (Vocals), Danielle Arsenault (Vocals), David Black (guitar), Dana Forrester (bass), and Leander Decordova (drums).

There was a lot of great rock in the 90’s, no one can deny that… and if someone did, we’d fight.  One of the best albums, that I really do not think gets the respect it deserves, is White Zombie’s Astro-Creep: 2000.  WZ made this amazing synthesis of heavy, groove-driven metal and mixed it with very horror-heavy theatrics, and on Astro-Creep: 2000 the mix was perfect.  Every song on this album is amazing musically, and it is a horror fan easter egg hunt, discovering where the samples come from (I was so proud of my self when I figure out the sample on “Real Solution #9” was from an episode of COPS, or watching TO THE DEVIL, A DAUGHTER and finally locating the samples on “Super-Charger Heaven”).  I love Astro-Creep: 2000.  I still listen to it on a regular basis, when my son is not in the car!

David Black, Dana Forrester, Leander Decordova, Danielle Arsenault and Vinnie Dombroski are CRUD

Before I even listened to CRUD ON MONSTER ISLAND, the cover art made me think “White Zombie.”  Not that the cover looks anything like any of the WZ covers, but just the idea of a giant burlesque star fighting a giant monkey-suited skull-headed alien (I assume from the glass-domed head covering) made me think of that aesthetic.  Looking at the song titles – “Monster A Go Go,” “The Devil is a Patient Man,” “I’ll Be Damned” for example – just reinforced this feeling that Crud was going to be WZ redux.  Now, obviously, that would not necessarily be a bad thing for me.  WZ is still one of my favorite bands, and (if done well) I would not dislike a WZ cover band!

Crud is not a White Zombie cover band.  While I can obviously see and hear the influence WZ had on Crud, Crud is its own beast.  Crud has some of the groove rock feel of WZ, but instead of the funk influence I feel in WZ’s music, Crud is decidedly more dance oriented.  I would say think “WZ meets Nine Inch Nails” but that’s not quite right… it really reminds more of “WZ meets Juno Reactor” or “WZ meets Fluke” but most people that weren’t into electronic music in the 90’s probably have no idea what I’m talking about.  But yes, if you took the WZ method, removed the funk and replaced it with some 90’s hard dance, and instead of having the film samples you added a burlesque dancer that also happens to have a damned fine voice, you’d get an idea of what Crud is.

Crud's dual-singer onslaught on stage

Speaking of, another one of my favorite things in rock that just doesn’t seem to happen too much is the juxtaposition of having both a male and female singer.  Again harkening back to the 90’s, another band that was way underrated was a group called Hammerbox, that had the opposite setup as Crud: Hammerbox was fronted by a woman (Carrie Akre), and then the second singer was a guy (Dave Bosch); Crud is fronted by Vinnie Dombroski, and he is backed up by Danielle Arsenault.  For their style of music, Crud’s addition of a female voice is very refreshing, and adds a layer that most hard rock bands don’t have.

I realize I have spent a lot of this review talking about how Crud reminds me of other bands.  What I want to make sure is know is that Crud reminds me of other bands… that I really like!  Crud has a sound that is their own; sure to someone that doesn’t pay much attention it could be easy to just say that they are WZ lite, but that would be such a simplification that it is wholly untrue.  Crud makes catchy, danceable, balls-to-the-wall hard rock.  And what they make – with the fusion of some electronic dance and groove rock, male and female voices, and a plethora of influences – is their own.  I know every time listen to CoMI, I have “Monster A Go Go” or “I’ll Be Damned” stuck in my head for days afterwards.  Crud makes music that makes you move, and while their music could be considered radio friendly unit shifters (I think they would do great on any rock radio station), they are not making sell-out easy rock for the masses.  They are making kick-ass music for those that choose to pay attention.

Now THAT is a great press image!

Overall, I greatly enjoyed CoMI.  It (obviously) took me down memory lane to some of the music that I most enjoyed in my past, while introducing me to music I will enjoy in the future.  Crud rocks pretty damned hard on CoMI, and from what I’ve seen of their live show, they rock even harder in the flesh.  It’s hard not to like a rock band with a burlesque dancer as a singer!  I look forward to seeing Crud’s star rise, and seeing what they come up with in the future.  Thanks to Crud, I see Detroit as the Rock City once again!

Overall 7.5 / 10

CoMI for sale: http://crud313.com/Shop/shop.html

CoMI site: http://crud313.com

Crud: Crud on Monster Island

Crud’s “Devil at the Wheel” Live:

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