Sometimes, you find exactly what you need. Sometimes, you don’t realize what you’ve found until it shuffles through your iPhone on the way home from work. When “New Low” came blaring through my speakers tonight, I knew that it was Middle Class Rut, an alternative Sacramento, CA based duo consisting of Zack Lopez on guitar/vocals and Sean Stockham on drums/vocals. What I did not realize during previous listens, was how amazing this record was.
No Name No Color is the bands debut full length, and it came out in 2010. It made its way to my ears just a few months back, but it got pushed to the back burner. I found myself enjoying the sound and style of the album, but I kept waiting for something to happen. I suppose that in the height of my progressive metal listenings, this wouldn’t really be the album I was trying to found. However, after getting somewhat burned out on the overproduced riffs that are modern metal, I needed to clear my palette. I’ve always loved the post-punk/post-hardcore genre. In fact, that would probably be my favorite of all genres, mainly because of the energy and emotion you hear laced within the comparatively unpolished tracks. Case in point, Middle Class Rut.
This album is dirty. Its raw, yet it sparkles in a way that a lot of albums in the genre don’t. It has a quality to it that you can’t turn away from, because its lyrical content and overall vibe fits within the context of the everyman. Lopez plays the guitar with a passionate precision that is unrivaled, and you can feel it. His heavy use of effects gives him a heavy, darkly textured tone that provides Stockham’s drums the perfect musical bed to pulsate on. Add to this Lopez’s searing vocals with the backgrounds provided by Stockham, and you have yourself a marvelous debut full length.
As I found out, while ‘waiting for something to happen’, I failed to realize that it WAS happening. This album is perfect in its simplicity, and it doesn’t need to be anything else. Its a real album. We don’t see that enough anymore, so I say thanks and I am grateful that we have bands that play with this kind of heart.
Here is USA, from their debut album, No Name No Color.