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Cretin | ‘Stranger’

How much you enjoy Cretin’s “Stranger” is going to relate directly to how high your tolerance is for enjoying things you’ve already heard before.

If you like Carcass, Repulsion, Autopsy and Impetigo, (particularly the first two) and you’re happy to listen to bands ape them over and over again, then you’ve come to the right place. If you want something more to latch on to, abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Alternating mostly between a thrashy bounce and full on blasts, their punky take on meat n’ potatoes death/grind is understandable given that half the band are also members in the current line up of Repulsion. To be honest though, Cretin often at times sounds like a tribute to that band, but devoid of the spark that made the Michigan grindfathers so compelling.

Unfortunately while there’s nothing spectacularly bad about Cretin – they’re adept at their instruments, they understand how to structure a song – they have absolutely nothing interesting in their favour beyond their admittedly fantastic song titles (“Sandwich for the Attic Angel”in particular conjours up all kinds of nightmarish imagery).They’re fun.

But are they fun enough to spend your money on given how many other better bands are currently putting out records in an ever tightening marketplace? Probably not.

Over 14 songs we’re presented with a series of “Horrified” and “Reek of Putrefaction” inspired ditties that pretty much just like 4 people recycling their favourite bits of their favourite records. The real weakness that Cretin have can be singled out quite simply: they unfortunately don’t have a personality of their own.

Of the 14 songs here, the most memorable moment comes when“Freakery” kicks off with a riff that’s embarassingly close to Terrorizer’s “Dead Shall Rise”. There’s some tasty soloing that pops up from time to time but that’s really all that stands out.

They’re simply not bloodthirsty enough to carry it off, lacking the palpable rage that can often make or break this kind of music.

Hold this up against recent releases in a similar death/grind vein like Abbadon Incarnate’s “Pessimist” or Pleasure Cross’ “Wait For The End” – it lacks the intensity and genuine ugliness of the former or the sheer animalism of the latter. It’s just kind of there.

An average, generic album from a band sorely in debt to their influences, it’s extremely unlikely to be top of the listening pile for many save the absolute die hards out there.

2/5 – Jamie Grimes ::: 6/12/14

  1. Perfectly said here. Glad to see someone calling a spade a spade. wish more reviewers were this awake.

  2. steve maher Says:

    I hear lots of unleashed in this.

  3. I did purchase Freakery haven’t listened to it since. Very adept musicians be nice to hear them take a risk/put their own stamp on it. Abbadon’s Pessimist is a killer album.

  4. Monk Stone Wielder Says:

    Freakery is not too shabby. Unleashed??????????

  5. pentagrimes Says:

    Freakery was equally underwhelming.

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