The Cringe – Play Thing (CD)

“Ride” is an energetic bit of rock music that has all the fury of punk while having a more focused and sharp sound. There is little to compare The Cringe to; they come forth with a little of the progressive sound of Rush even as hints of Buckcherry struggle with AC/DC influences. The sheer eclecticism of The Cringe is something that will put listeners’ butts into seats, while the catchiness of “Play Thing” is enough to have them continue listening. “Weary Me” sparkles with a nuanced bit of guitar work that feeds in well to the vocal and drum side of things.

Without taking so much as a single breath, The Cringe are back on the top of their game. It is really the allusions to pure harmony that makes tracks like “Weary Me” stand at a level above that of the rest of the tracks on the album. “No Control” slows things up and provides listeners with a different side of The Cringe. This time out, there is a nineties alternative feel that will remind one of Toad The Wet Sprocket and Soundgarden. “Start Again” is a stripped down bit of rock that will simultaneously please fans of seventies, eighties, and more current rock. This is due to the fact that the composition touches upon Neil Young, Jane’s Addiction and even The White Stripes all in the course of three and a half minutes. “Poison” is a perfect example of an expansive composition that fits nicely in a normal time frame.

It is the brooding nature of the guitar arrangements and narrative styles of the vocals that turn this track from something ordinary into something memorable. Whether it is the confident guitar line or the splashy drums, “Poison” kicks the latter stages of the album into high gear. Where most acts slide off into oblivion with the last few tracks of an album, The Cringe continue to challenge themselves and all listening in with tracks like “Friends & Family” and “Give and Take”. Pick up “Play Thing” and see The Cringe live – they’ll be playing around the northeast in late March and early April.

Top Tracks: Ride, In The End

Rating: 8.2/10

The Cringe – Play Thing / 2010 Listen Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.thecringeband.com

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