Label: Bright Antenna Release date: 22/11/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon I first encountered Middle Class Rut in 2008; having heard ‘Busy Bein’ Born’ on the radio, I was immediately captivated by their sound. Somewhere between Jane’s Addiction and Rage Against The Machine, it’s full of a raw power and aggression that very few can replicate. I invested in their Red EP and proceeded to play it to death for a few weeks until I realised just how samey their songs could sound. Well now, two years down the line and with a spate of subsequent EPs released they are finally presenting a full length album to their avid listeners. There’s just one catch; it’s a bit of a best-of-the-EPs kind of thing with a couple of new songs on there for good measure, so if you have all of their EPs and singles to date you might feel a little hard done by before you even press play. The album starts with ‘Busy Bein’ Born’ which although having been on many of the bands previous releases still sounds surprisingly fresh. “I aint dead yet!” screams Zack Lopez as it kicks in, the same can be said about this song which sends shivers down my spine and shakes my bones to the core just as it did on first listen two years ago. The album plays through for the next few songs quite predictably; sounding more and more like Jane’s Addiction and Rage from track to track. Until ‘Are You On Your Way’ begins; starting off much more calmly that its predecessors, it is a six minute song that can only be described as epic. It builds up to huge highs and breaks down to nothing but a whisper without any warning leaving you wondering what you have done to deserve having your emotions toyed with by this Californian duo. (Oh I believe I failed to mention this earlier; Middle Class Rut are a two piece and nothing more believe it or not, something that is hard to comprehend given the amount of noise they are able make.) ‘Are You On Your Way’ marks a change on this album for me; everything from this point onwards sounds much more mature. They become a band that knows how to write a song, how to keep the listener interested and how to sound original. Yes, it is still possible to draw the same comparisons as before, but they suddenly have their own edge. It’s no longer all one pace with each song fitting into the same mould of building up and then hitting their instruments as hard as they can to fade. A bit more thought has gone into it, a few more harmonies, thinner guitar sounds complimenting the huge distorted fuzz that was becoming all too familiar and a lot more variety with drumming styles. Middle Class Rut have come a long way since their first EP release back in 2008. Admittedly it seems a little lazy of them to keep re-releasing songs over and over again, but I suppose if they are good tracks that you don’t feel have got the exposure they deserve yet then why not? From the new material shown on this album they have obviously improved since the days of that initial release, so I’m looking forward to a record full of new songs as powerful as ‘Are You On Your Way’. However in the meantime No Name No Color is a compelling album to keep you going. Photobucket