More than musical ingenuity or lyrical wit, it is attitude which powers
the new split EP between Chrome Cranks and industrial legend Foetus. The
title track, which both Foetus and Chrome Cranks cover separately, was
allegedly recorded in 1979 by the mysterious Dick Uranus, who has since
disappeared. The song is a cartoonish distillation of the life of a detective,
built on a straightforward guitar riff and complete with over-the-top swaggering
lyrics: "I'm a hard-boiled dick/Stiff as a policeman's nightstick." Foetus
uses a deliberate yet compelling beat, simple guitar playing, and some
wailing sirens to capture the essence of Dick, while Chrome Cranks, who
formed in Ohio and now live in New York, employ hugely distorted bass and
guitar, and a snarl reminiscent of Jon Spencer (bassist Jerry Teel's bandmate
in Honeymoon Killers) on top of a skittering, slightly jazzy drumbeat.
But the two other tracks rock with almost enough bravado to outdo Dick
himself. The Chrome Cranks' treatment works well on "Little Johnny Jewel,"
a Television cover which Chrome Cranks convert into a noisy blues epic.
And "Outside Of Time," Foetus's tribute to the interdimensional and enigmatic
Von Lmo, is uncharacteristically sloppy and mighty loud, with space-age
vocal effects that complement Von Lmo's one-riff songwriting.