"Although there were other people with us [in Leisure], we've always existed as a band within a band," the short-spoken Lopez told Spinner last February. "We've always been a duo, and it just took a long time to get rid of the dead weight."
With several years of touring together on their own, No Name No Color feels long overdue. Plenty of people have been waiting to put Middle Class Rut on playlists because Lopez and Stockham don't play music as much as they unleash it. Sure, the three EPs were a great introduction, but No Name No Color has more teeth than a bull shark.
No Name No Color Crushes Expectations Across The Entire Album.
Leading off with the well-known Busy Bein' Born, USA, New Low, Lifelong Dayshift, the first five tracks pummel audiences with aggression against the backdrop of a colossal driving sound. Are You On Your Way breaks up the blasters as a longer, mellower track, giving the band the chance to catch its breath before picking up the pace again.
While I wish more of their EP tracks were included in the deluxe edition (Dead Set and I Don't Really Know specifically), No Name No Color is a bonfire of hits from a team that started when Lopez and Stockham were only thirteen. Even their writing process is spontaneous and impatient. They write, record, and play it back immediately. Here's the result.
It's almost impossible to believe that they were forced to leave music in the aftermath of the Leisure breaking up. Initially, Lopez took a construction job and Stockham became a studio runner (if you can imagine). Thankfully, Sacramento natives are bred tougher than that. They were soon on tour, testing songs as the lead-in to powerhouses like Social Distortion, Them Crooked Vultures, and Alice In Chains. The secret to success?
“It takes everything this band does and puts it into one song,” Lopez says. “It’s hard to do that. We’re able to capture the heavier and mellower side of our music in one song.”
Mellow, by the definition for Middle Class Rut, means New Low and Are You On Your Way. The rest is all raw, scathing, and homegrown. It feels real because places like Sacramento don't have many outlets for being anything else than real.
In many ways, that is all Middle Class Rut needed to realize to be on the front door of becoming their own headliner. They needed to learn that they didn't need anyone else to round out their sound.
No Name No Color by MC Rut Cuts A 8.7 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
No Name No Color features twelve tracks on iTunes, but it's the Deluxe Edition to consider for Free Lot alone. No Name No Color (Deluxe Edition) also includes the milder Critical Emotional (okay) and New Low music video that has caught so much attention.
Amazon also has No Name No Color, but the real find there is the 25 Years EP release (which you won't find on iTunes yet). It's worth picking up the extra track along with the full album. Everyone who has seen Lopez and Stockham live agree that these guys are the real deal.