ARTIST: Die Kreuzen
TITLE: October File
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I mixed It’s Been So Long a lot, maybe that’s how you’ve heart it?? (I kid…)
LINEUP: Keith Brammer, Brain Egeness, Dan Kubinski, Erik Tunison
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from Wisconsin’s punks reduces the speed, increases the musicality, but still has a vocal liability.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Are vocals that important for a hard rock / punk band? Well, lyrics may not be but a singer’s gotta at least be worth listening to. Therein is the problem for Die Kreuzen.
Kubinski’s a shrieker, which is fine – many vocalists are. But he’s out of the area code in terms of being near the tune quite a bit of the time. On some songs, it doesn’t matter (the longer and slower it is, believe it or not, the more tolerable it is as Kubinski doesn’t feel the need to scream). On others, though, it’s just not worth it. This time, though, the vocals are a bit lower in the mix so he blends in better.
The band is more mature and play with sensitivity when needed. There are a few solid keeper tracks. However, it’s still a land mine that you have to navigate if you, like me, have a big issue with the vocals. Take it one track at a time.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They were originally called The Stellas.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but this is on CD with their debut.
GRADE: C+: It’s better; I’m keeping some tracks. Been So Long is great. But, man, shrieking out of tune isn’t for me, at least not here.