Cold Cranking Amps

Picture of Cold Cranking Amps

Anxiety Blanket

Cold Cranking Amps - Anxiety Blanket ©1999 Major Label Records
1. Unhinged
2. Autopilot Life
3. Graphic View
4. Open Season
5. Everybody Else
6. Sundrown
7. Lucky
8. Transcendental
9. Flameproof
10. Define
11. Maybe Not
12. Simple
13. Red
14. Thirty

True left field guitar indie rock is a fairly sparse field of participants. Most bands either lack the ambition or the ability to pull off quirky and competent rock that bypasses typical song structure and approach. Cold Cranking Amps, who hail from Minnesota, are an exception to the safely digestible indie rock bands and offer a platter of exciting rock that will capture the more discerning listener's attention. All three musicians in the band are very talented at their particular instruments and hone their collective ability into a strong composition, rather than showing off all they can do. Thus, you get a highly skilled punk rock approach to progressive rock, which is a darned difficult trick to turn. Dennis Asher's vocals are fairly blue collar, but able to strongly convey the melodies. His singing is faintly reminiscient of that guy from Live. Moreover, his guitar playing is all over the place, with a emphasis on peculiar rhythm structures. The guitar riffs act as a world all their own over the solid rhythm section of Jeff Hovendon and Brent Langley, but never stray into their own solar system.

Of the highlights, and nearly every song is one, are the tunes "Everybody Else", "Open Season" and "Transcendental". The songs just have the uncanny ability to provide the necessary edge to really get into them. Cold Cranking Amps are fairly unique and don't particularly sound like any other one band. Fans of likeminded left field guitar rock bands like fIREHOSE, Clockhammer and Agitpop should check this one out as it's truly worthy of the company.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2000

Back to top