The Krueggers – Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.eclipserecords.com/
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://www.amazon.com/Hysterical-Cold-Side-Memories-Explicit/dp/B07Y438B3H/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Krueggers&qid=1577482320&s=dmusic&sr=1-1
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/the.krueggers/

Band Line-Up:

Randy Fiora – Vocal/guitar
Rafael Fiora – Guitar
Rikke Galla – Bass
Anthony Juno – Drums

Tracklisting:
  1. Lying Machine
  2. Freak Out
  3. Dark Parade
  4. Someday
  5. Overreaction
  6. Bullshit
  7. I Set Myself
  8. Wrong
  9. Hysterical Cold Side And D…
  10. Bring Me Shine
  11. On Your Hands
Review

Rising from a city named Guarulhos near Sao Paulo, Brazil, The Krueggers are named after Singer Randy Fiora’s obsession with Freddy Kreuger. Officially formed in 2010, Randy’s previous band involvement had been in a Nirvana tribute band. 2013 saw the release of their debut album, ‘On Your Hands’, produced by Diego Castro. The line up has changed a few times: on the recording, Caio D’Amour took lead guitar duties but more recently it is Randy’s own brother Rafael who’s handled that role. Bassist Rikki Galla was formerly in Broken Smile and the quartet are completed by drummer Anthony Juno.

The idea initially was to merge favourite styles together to create a grunge, nu-metal, rock fusion, and influences included bands such as Korn, Nirvana, Seether, Alice in Chains and Rob Zombie among others. Their chaotic stage show was touring widely for 18 months until in 2014 Randy entered a period of alcohol induced depression and it was in this time he wrote the songs for ‘Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories’ which is an autobiographical work that explores self-hate and loathing.  Again mixed by Diego Castro, the 11 tracks first came to light in 2015, but are now released by Eclipse Records. It includes the addition of some more non-traditional elements not expected of a grunge band, such as Barimbau and Oil Brass, mixed with the standard dark, distorted riffs, screams and growls and a sense of anti-establishment and rebellion that is fuelling this energetic collection of tracks.

Commencing with ‘Lying Machine’, and the blast of a cliche air-raid siren, the music is typically thuds and riffs, very similar to ‘Freak on a Leash’ in the style and melody, the influence of their musical heroes very obvious. The screams are not over-used and fit within the style, the vocals suitably gravelly and the distortion pedal is on over-drive. Moving on to ‘Freak Out’, a song about how a teenage Randy saw kids copying others to look cool, when to be cool you actually need to let go and be yourself. One of the more commercial tracks on the album, with a gritty core and plenty of power to the guitar work, the first two tracks promise good things from this band. Strutting and dirty, ‘Dark Parade’ loses its way, lacking in anything that really grabs the attention, until the drum break when it shows itself to be written for the live scene. It will no doubt come alive on stage, where it fails to ignite on recording.

A slow start with a sluggish vocal eventually builds to lift ‘Someday’ by the chorus, whiny and miserable, the off key elements to the vocal means that it grates a little, and while not awful, it’s also not memorable or enticing. The tempo kicks up several gears for fast paced ‘Overreaction’. With gritty vocals that suggest a 40 a day habit in both cigarettes and whisky, it’s a feast of distorted guitar riffs and hard edged chords, with a ton of angst and emotion topped by an energetic beat; this is more like it. ‘Bullshit’ is edgy and angry, almost punk in attitude, with plenty of energy and venom in the vocal performance, it should be a political anthem.

More of a standard grunge offering, ‘I Set Myself’ suffers with the the way it’s difficult to make out the words with the diction at times. It has lots of animosity, and the album seems to be getting darker by each song. A slower, powerful and emotive track, ‘Wrong’ benefits from the way they convey the passion through the rhythm and the pain etched vocals. Title track ‘Hysterical Cold Side And Dark Memories’ grinds its way into your sub-conscious, but lacks enough finesse or character to remain there, heavy but not something that hooks you in, so instantly forgotten.

The band explain that ‘Bring Me Shine’ is a song about searching for more and not being satisfied with what you have, ambition and aspiration, a song that is more relateable and therefore will hit home more with people. Lastly comes ‘On Your Hands’, which is leaden and heavy, but not in a good way, a disappointing way to wind up the album.

I found myself looking for something that makes this stand out, it’s a poor imitation of the bands it lists as influences, and it stays deep within the early 90’s for style and substance. The songs are not bad but on the whole they lack a twist to make the sound new, fresh and exciting, so leaving them dated, stodgy and bland. On the whole the album is one with ups and downs, some songs better than others, it maybe needed a bit more time and a little less of the same old thing, maybe because the inspiration was that alcohol fuelled depression, it lacks the contrast to make it shine through. The vocals are all gravel, and Randy lacks the range of singers like Seether’s Shaun Morgan, to lift the lyrics from the murk of the instrumentation. No one expects grunge to have hooks, or power choruses, but there are so many other bands doing this style better still, that this won’t get the band raised above mediocrity without a lot more imagination.

Review by

Lisa Nash

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