The psychedelia can be real with this one. The Curse of Scruft by Scruft is tagged as “Kutztown rock,” which is where this easy delight came from, and it has little tricks up its sleeves. Being from a small town in Pennsylvania, you can sort-of assume this three-piece psych-rock group renders edges of garage band energy and pot smoker vibes. This is their first album after their EP Brain Potion, and tracking out at a short three songs, The Curse of Scruft isn’t a bad example of “short and sweet,” but some refining would probably bring a more legato feel to the whole package.
It is an easy-going start to track one; however, the chill-factor brought by instrumentals is dampened by vocalist Nicholas Neely. Somehow, the out-of-tune idea isn’t fitting here, it seems to be theoretically incoherent. Regardless, Neely pulls through perfectly with his seriously smooth guitar noodling throughout the record. “Eat Grass” is easily noted as a wildly appropriate name for our first track, because you know, you might want to indulge when there’s this much speak of cattle running to their freedom. It seems like a soft ushering into strong suggestions.
Like the first track, our second offering “Happy Day” packs ridiculously optimistic, hilarious, and artsy lyricism, with a touch of existentialist fear. Something about the idea of sitting alone in an uncontrollable car watching “the herd” mindlessly make the world go round sits well and uncomfortably with the human soul. Delving more into a rockabilly style at this point, the continuity of the record starts to become clear. With a nice little pool of heavier rock towards the end, I am not entirely, but rather somewhat satisfied.
The last, and my favourite, track of this album melts right onto you. “The Gentrifier” has some trippy feelings in store. If you’re into the idea of surfing on an indie-punk wave that might contain some radioactive waste and/or floating trash, you’re in the right place. As mentioned for previous tracks, the band is on point. With vocals left behind, this is easily the most effective tune. You can hear the musicality this band has, and how on the same page they all sound. Almost sounding like it could be on a better record, the tributes to The Ventures classic surfer riffs are loud and not to be ignored. If you don’t feel like drinking on a beach in California after this record, you might not be listening close enough.
Written by Talia Plante
*edited by Mike Milito