Cran – Nate LP (Une Vie Pour Rien)

After an EP and a couple of compilation appearances, it’s a pleasure to get a whole album’s worth of material from Parisians Cran. For a decade or more – maybe starting with Maraboots – French bands have really pushed the boundaries of what might have once been called oi! or streetpunk. In particular digging deep into early 80’s darker new-wave sounds, they have created a style that differs from the norm.

Cran are a logical consequence of this evolution and – having seen words like “cold punk” or even “post oi!” on their fliers, that is totally fitting. Taking that traditional oi! blueprint of hard, pounding songs, Cran often trade those anticipated powerchords for single-note guitar lines, driven by reverb-soaked bass lines. The drums sound almost mechanical and the vocals are also delivered cold and almost free of emotion. A sound that reflects the coldness of city life. That said, the songs are catchy and memorable in the same way as their fellow countryfolk Syndrome 81 or Litovsk. A strong and powerful album you should get your teeth into. Tom Chapman

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