Kraus is made up of one dude, Will Kraus, and that’s fucking it. When you listen to this album, you won’t believe me. Quick warning: If you’re not into distortion and fuzz then turn the fuck around and save yourself cause this shit is littered with it. This album takes the best part of early Smashing Pumpkins (basically the loudest hardest parts of Siamese Dream), coats this shit with this early 2000s indie rock songwriting ability, and mixes it together into a 2018 clusterfuck appeal.
This isn’t someone who just likes ’90s rock, but someone who bathes in ripped jeans, baggy hoodies, doc martens, dyed blonde hair, circle glasses, earrings on guys, and leather. This album is filled with those arena-themed anthem songs that might cause fists to pump the air in protest of “the Man” and will be copied onto thousands of mixtapes labelled “sweet mix”. It has that chugging bass double kick ephemeral guitar sound that led to the word “alternative” as a music genre back in the day. This album has moments of absolute brilliance. First off, this drumming is fucking insane (heavily inspired by Jimmy Chamberlin). Secondly, although there is a lot of inspiration taken from the ’90s, it’s not a ’90s album. This is when that ambient influence injected into this album’s fucking main artery comes into play. If you take away the drums and bass this album is an ethereal wonderland sounding similar to Mogwai or Mono. It’s as if this music comes from an alternative timeline and this is what grunge transformed into.
A younger generation might call this shit shoegaze music. Fuck that. They don’t know how many motherfuckers stared at their shoes in the ’90s. And shoegaze generally doesn’t have a double kick on the bass drum. Despite the heavy production and sound manipulation on this album, it’s the songwriting that stands out the most. It has a meandering discontent and anxiety to it, as if you were suddenly in a mall and unable to find an exit. The abrasive instrumentation and fuzz add to this anxiety. It’s also why I can’t help but think of a decade filled with anger and commercialism. So, if you ever thought about going back in time and becoming a rock star, copy this album and go back to the ’90s. You’d be a god. Now … all I need is that fucking time machine. Where/when did I put that thing?