News Records SPB Premiere: "Brutal Tandem" by Fred Cracklin

SPB Premiere: "Brutal Tandem" by Fred Cracklin

Posted Feb. 25, 2020, 9:44 a.m. in Records by Andy
SPB Premiere: "Brutal Tandem" by Fred Cracklin

Based in Western Massachusetts, Fred Cracklin, the duo of guitarist Adam Bosse and drummer Max Goldstein, describes their music as “spazz metal jazz.” For me, the name of the lead single from their upcoming LP, “Brutal Tandem,” is about as good a description of this group as any.


As Goldstein explains about the track:


"This was the first tune we properly wrote after completing the material on Looming Spook. As is often the case, music that sits on the seam of two album cycles often smears those creative periods. BT ended up with a bit of everything from our previous record—simple pounding riffage, goofy wobbling freakouts, precarious anxiety-induced speed, and of course guitar solos. But it also allowed new bits of dissonance, technicality, and *gasp* space! As a consequence of being that Cracklin buffet, it also references many of our favorite heavy metal idioms—blast beats, sludgy doom, and of course guitar solos. I think we were so excited to have crammed so many different ideas into one song that it encouraged us to quickly write the rest of the album and to keep it weird(er).


The riffs in the first section came from Adam practicing finger exercises. We both dug how unusual and dark they sounded when transcribed into bizarre tunings, and I immediately developed complimentary drum parts. The second section was initially conceived just to contrast that technical precision—topple a citadel of solid rhythms and time signatures, then roll around in the rubble (“Wouldn’t it be funny to play all these tight riffs and then spin out of control and fall apart?”). The third section relates to an early conversation when starting the band. I stubbornly swore that despite our “hard, fast, and loud” approach, I would never play blast beats because I thought it was a bit on the nose. However, years later it seemed only appropriate to bite right into that nose. Lastly, we had actually finished recording the song and begun performing it live before we thought of that final doomy guitar solo. After hemming and hawing for some months (we even tried tacking on a particularly spicy live recording), we eventually went back into the studio just to record that one part.


The title “Brutal Tandem” is a favorite Id M Theft Able caption. His illustrious, whimsical, and inscrutable art (visual and audio) have always offered us boundless inspiration. Besides the pithy phrase sounding cool, I think it pretty literally describes how these different notions of “heaviness” play together in one tune."

Fred Cracklin’s new album, Anxiety Kinship, can be preordered here and releases on April 10 as a collaboration between the Sad Cactus and Midnight Werewolf labels.  If “Brutal Tandem” is any indication, it should be a wild ride. Get your freak on and sink your teeth into the track below.

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