250 word album review: Scruffy & The Janitors – Modeling Is Hard

Scruffy & The Janitors - Modeling is Hard

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Scruffy & The Janitors wanted this one to be a gut punch; they succeeded. Clocking in at 14 songs and over 45 minutes they wanted to make sure no one got left asking “is this it?” The important thing is that there isn’t much fat to be trimmed here, the St. Joseph, Missouri trio spent about 3 years writing and crafting this record and you won’t hear anything that should’ve been left on the cutting floor.

The hard edge of these songs hits quick with the huge hook of “You Got Hit” with plenty dynamics to crank up the intensity. It’s easy to hear that their sound is highly evolved from their self-released garage rock debut album “Pino” several years ago. The sound is clean and they let the fuzz guitars blast throughout right to the closer “Elephant.” On “Hermit” guitarist Teriq Newton pushes a Strokes-style guitar run and on “Jonestown” a more purposely lackadaisical riffage takes place. It’s not all crunchy rock though, singer Steven Foster slows things down and shows off his vocal skills on “Carry Me Home” and later on “Welcome Touch.” The band uses all their white blood cells to keep this long album from getting monotonous and the slower songs play in sequence just when they are needed to break things up.

They are best when the pedal is to the metal though, they get down right veni vidi viscous on rockers like the hook heavy “My Faith” and the power riffs of “The Spins” that create the moments you’ll remember most from “Modeling Is Hard.”

Key Tracks: “You Got Hit” “Hermit” “My Faith”

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