The Cringe – Tipping Point (CD)

While I am always leery of those bands that eschew new, better ways of recording, I still try to give the bands the benefit of the doubt. The Cringe use all analogue recording for “Tipping Point”, and “California” is the first track that most individuals will be familiar with when they first hear The Cringe. The track is a noisy type of rock that has hints of Blur, Goo Goo Dolls, Queens of the Stone Age, and even hints of the MC5.

The one thing that comes forth first on this disc is that the band buries their levels at points, making it a little difficult to hear the rest of the instruments at those points. The confidence exerted by the band on tracks like “California” is without criticism; The Cringe know what they are doing and do not need to be accepted to go forward with it. In fact, the use of all analogue recording does not provide any fundamental difference that I can hear to acts that decide to go digital. Regardless, The Cringe play a style of music that while played by a few different bands, is distinct to the band. “And Then I’m Gone” is a track that adds a little Elton John and Adam Duritz to the mix, with the arrangements being simple until the band gets into the lead-up to the chorus. The band is able to make a single-worthy track with “And Then I’m Gone”. The fact that the band changes up their output during the chorus (in opposition to the stanzas) shows their ability as musicians and their maturity as a band.

The Cringe provide two very different conceptions to their sound with these two tracks, which should be one of the best reasons for individuals to pick up this album; people just do not know what they are going to get besides knowing that what they are going to get is good. “In God We Trust” brings the band into a harder rock style, with the arrangement of the guitars almost approaching the intensity of bands like Bad Religion. The style is still catchy, and while tremendously influenced by the popular rock of the early nineties, is something that is in the here and now for anyone that may be listening in. The Cringe is an act that comes out of nowhere to impress and wow; when the album gets more in the way of play in the following months, chances are good that they will rocket up the CMJ charts.

Top Tracks: Chosen One, Freedom Ban

Rating: 7.0/10

The Cringe – Tipping Point / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.thecringeband.com / Reviewed 21 March 2007

[JMcQ]

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