The follow up to Cretin’s 2006 album Freakery has been a long time coming. Where a lot of modern grind artists go for heaviness as the expense of all else, Cretin are band that knows how to write songs that are humorously fun, catchy and still absolutely rip. Old school grindcore in the vein of Repulsion with a certain Autopsy-esque filthiness, Stranger is a breath of stagnant air for the scene.
It kicks the album off with a meaty guitar riff, rolling drums and a kick ass guitar solo, before Marissa yells aggressively over blasts and dirty riffage. Those catchy speedy riffs have a filthy guitar tone, while the grooving breakdowns are pure mosh fuel – you can almost smell the beer stained maniacs going mental in dingy halls, thrashing out to this fantastic grind. Humorous lyrics and catchy choruses make each song really stand out on it’s own, without letting up on the heaviness and Stranger is a punky brutish hammer blow to the face.
Marissa’s vocals are great throughout the album, the influence from Repulsion’s Scott Carlson obvious with a similar tempo and intonation to his classic ugly yells, but with a gruffer more aggressive bark she sounds absolutely unleashed on this, and against a barrage of d-beats and blasts and riff after filthy riff they’ve got their classic grind sound down to a tee. Those grooving breakdowns on Knights of the Rail are fantastic, and Mister Frye the Janitor Guy is humorous, catchy and a lot of fun. The barks on Freakery are scarily aggressive and fast paced, while the groove of Sandwich for the Attic Angel is fantastic, as is the bass intro that leads into the brutish riffs.
Stranger’s Highlights are: It, Mister Frye The Janitor Guy, Knight’s of the rail and Freakery, but there’s no weak ones and it simply rips for 32 minutes solid. It’s got an old school feel that simply reeks, and Cretin just have a certain degree of character and fun to their playing. It’s a great album and definitely a worthy follow up to Freakery. I really hope they can make it to the UK for a few dates.