Me Time & The Raging Crush are an Akron-based “sun soaked cult” of “intergalactic face rockers” who play a brand of scuzzy rock inspired by 60’s psych and 70’s punk that supposedly “bring[s] the sounds of outer space to your home speakers” and “aim[s] to take you on a trip that you won’t come back from”, according to their website. If you were to read all that before listening to their self-titled record, you might expect it to sound like jam-band muzak, overlong meanderings that lose their substance amongst the cosmos. Instead, you get a cohesive, well-crafted album of tight garage-rock ditties.
The most potent feature of the record is Me Time’s guitar sound. So much fuzz! Fuzz thick enough to make your skin prickle. Try not to itch!
Then there’s the tough-guy vocals of singer Eric Blankenhorn, who manages to play the part without coming off as affectatious. His success is simple: he’s clearly having a great time. And he should be. Being in a rock n’ roll band is fun.
Take that last statement as a sort of thesis statement for the record. This is party music, specifically for people whose idea of partying is downing whiskey in a sticky dive stuffed with massive speakers blasting anything from “Purple Haze” to “Rockaway Beach.”
The lyrics are nothing complex. These guys want you to come over tonight, stay up late and have a real good time. They enjoy “getting drunk, getting high and getting into a fight.” “Time on the Road” is exactly the road trip anthem you want it to be. “Countdown” is roughly an eight-year-old’s understanding of the intricacies of rocket ship takeoff. In “Etcha Petcha,” listeners are urged to lift their wings and never come down. The subject matter doesn’t move beyond classic rock n’ roll boasting and psychedelic imagery.
These guys are consistent. They set boundaries, keeping songs short and punchy while utilizing a limited sound palette. They pull off the difficult but artistically impressive feat of creating a record that maintains, throughout its entirety, an overarching, resolute soundscape that offers the listener fresh avenues, moments that deepen the album’s sound. None of the tracks are clear outliers, yet the record never grows boring or tedious. How could it? This sounds like music made by dudes who dreamed about being in a rock band since they were little pre-adolescent punks. Now they’re doing it, fabricating their own version of the rock n’ roll mythology. Me Time are out to teach us that the secret to sounding fresh is to just have fun!