Album review

Crackout : Oh No!
Hut Recordings / Virgin Records

Crackout : Oh No!Crackout seem to have a thing for shitty album names. Oh No!, their second album, is the follow up to their debut This Is Really Neat. Still, books and their covers and all that. Crackout are one of those bands who the word potential could have been invented for. There were glimpses on their first album that suggested they are a band who might just one day come up with an absolute barnstormer of an album. Unfortunately, Oh No! isn't quite that album.
    Crackout are to rock what Starsailor are to indie - they're just sort of there. Yes, they come up with some pretty good songs, and they look kind of right and play their instruments well enough, but there doesn't seem to be any real fire in their belly - no real conviction that makes you sit up and pay attention. Though slightly more cerebral than a lot of rock's current crop, Crackout are none the less lacking something that makes a good band into a fucking great band.

Having said that, there are some genuinely good moments on Oh No!. Punk-pop opener Out Of Our Minds - despite the rather suspect lyrics - is infectious stuff and sets the mood for the rest of the album. Wait and the brooding Pale both evoke angst-ridden images of running down school corridors with The Breakfast Club, and All This Colour - probably the best song here - is well positioned in the middle of the album to pick the pace up once again.
    The rest of Oh No! just sort of passes on by, and the overall result is one neither of disgust nor awe. There's a feel to the album that reminds you of some of the B-list bands that cropped up during those years in the mid 90s referred to fondly as Britpop, and look what happened to most of them.

The album, and indeed the band, are summed up nicely by a line in Oh No!'s third track, This is What We Do: "I'll talk in a whisper, 'cause this is what we do." If they start shouting a bit more, Crackout might just make an impression. Until then, this is what they do . . .

:: Philip Goodfellow

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