“The Owls Stare” shows Rusty Like as the supreme purveyors of catchy rhythms, as an opening salvo will make true music fans salivate. The strung-out guitars present on this track do not scream with a current type of sound, but they (along with the vocals) really bring a sixties type of sound. It is not one specific brand of sixties sound, but rather an amalgamation of surf and lounge that is incredibly easy to digest. “Black Eyes” is another of the tracks that come out with an allure that only the sixties could imbue on a track. Even if the tempo of the track seems a little dazed and confused, Rusty Like spins in a way that keeps individuals interested.
There seems to be a minor update to their sound with “Cowpie”, in that Rusty Like brings back some nineties alternative to the mix, but this does not throw the trajectory of the disc off in any serious way. The high level of distortion present on “Whining Party” has a drone to it that would seem perfect on a Doors track, even if the vocals do not approximate those of Jim Morrison in any appreciable way. The energy of this track is bristling behind the distortion, and even the dazed vocals present cannot diminish what is definitely high energy throughout. The bouncy beat present during “Green Star” is of a different style than practically anything else on the disc; in the middle of the second half of “Pirouette”, it provides listeners with a nice refresher and the energy needed to keep with the disc for the last few tracks. “Stay Back Black Kitty Cat” may just be the most memorable track on “Pirouette”; both the added layers and vocals on the track really make it memorable.
There seems to be the same brand of slower tempo that is more of a hallmark than anything on “Pirouette”, but the accessibility of this track cannot be underestimated. With most of “Pirouette’s” tracks being under three minutes, tracks can weigh in heavily on a listener, affect them meaningfully and leave without much in the way of possible failure; Rusty Like is smart in ensuring that their compositions do not get too long-winded and stale. Rusty Like is a rare example of a band that can actually innovate in a genre once thought dead; there is no doubt that the band will be together for a long time after this disc comes and goes.
Top Tracks: Stay Back Black Kitty Cat, Cowpie
Rusty Like – Pirouette / 2005 Breathing Room / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/rustylike / http://www.breathingroomrecords.com / Reviewed 31 December 2005