Album review

Crazy Town : Darkhorse

Crazy Town : DarkhorseIt would be the easiest thing to write off Crazy Town as nu metal chancers who got a freak hit off the back of a dying scene. It would also be very easy to write off Darkhorse; safe in the knowledge that Crazy Town are highly unlikely to repeat the success of The Gift Of Game and the ubiquitous Butterfly. I know it, you know it and perhaps the saving grace of this CD is that Crazy Town know it too.
    Darkhorse is a more mature, consistent and accomplished album than its predecessor. At a time when their peers are content to release lacklustre follow-ups or time-buying remix sets this CD really is a bolt from the blue from the scene's least likely.

Opener Decorated ("Dec-dec-dec-dec-dec-dec-decorated in flames!") is a real stormer, with a hook that somehow mirrors Mötley Crüe's Look That Kill riff without actually stealing it. The rapper formerly known as Shifty Shellshock - now reverted to given name, Seth Brook Binzer - knows that his back's against the wall, but is unrepentent; "I can't complain, there's no shame in no fame." And why should he be when Crazy Town can still come up with tracks this strong?
    The single Drowning might be a guaranteed dance floor clearer, but is the best thing this lot have ever penned. It has an innate sense of melody which is rare in this genre, and it's no coincidence that the closest reference point is Linkin Park. Might as well shoot for the stars . . .
    The couplet of Waste Of My Time and Sorry once again nod to 80s hair metal - much as Hollywood Babylon did on The Gift Of Game; the former with its meaty guitar hook, and the latter with its big layered chorus.
    All of that and there are still a stack of songs that are of single quality; Hurt You So Bad, Change, Skulls And Stars . . . the list goes on. I know it's difficult to believe, but given a bit of time and an open mind, Darkhorse really is that good.

So will Darkhorse be a commercial success? Possibly, but only in the broadest terms. Will it make Crazy Town credible in the eyes of your average discerning (read fashion victim) rock fan? Unlikely. What Darkhorse will do is buy Crazy Town some time; because just enough people will get into this to ensure that the band gets to make another album with a major label's marketing budget behind it.
    Consider Darkhorse as Crazy Town's Paul's Boutique, their Ixnay On The Hombre or their Insomniac. Crazy Town will be back, and stronger.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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