((Crash of Rhinos)) Band Profile and Upcoming New York City Concerts - Oh My Rockness


Written by Patrick McNamara

Crash of Rhinos are five dudes from the town of Derby, England - a two hour and change motor vehicle ride away from London, if you’re interested in knowing that sort of thing. I was. And thanks to this band profile, I also learned that Derby had the first factory in the world and is therefore the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Whoa. Sure, Liverpool has The Beatles... but Derby has... the Industrial. Revolution. NO BIG DEAL.

This band features five singers (some more singalong-able than others), two guitars, two basses, and drums. And all those musical things create a highly nostalgic sound (for some - like me) of that sweet spot genre time period - after emo meant “punk” - and before it meant “eyeliner.” The sound Crash of Rhinos is retro-ly rockin’ (also just learned there is some professional debate if “retroly” is indeed recognized as a word - so retro-ly will have to do - for now) was probably at the height of its sound powers circa 1994-1999. Yeah. I’d say that’s right. But give me a few more minutes to think about that. I might be able to get it down to a two year range, or even one, and of course the month would be entirely next level.*

Crash of Rhinos feature sweetly sung (except one singer who sounds like a sheet of sandpaper working it out and dumping off a couple of nails - then this just sounds like hardcore) multipart harmonies and pretty “noodle-y” guitars that soar and crest and climax above the solidly noisy punk to the rock. Sometimes their songs are soft before getting loud too. And sometimes when they slam on the distortion pedal at just the right moment (there is one of these moments in every good song) your heart quivers with a touch of transcendence. Or, maybe that’s just a heart murmur. How about this? Crash of Rhinos mean you still need EMO in your life or you need an EKG in order to save it.

As for band comparisons, I need to go back. Of course I’m gonna go back. Let’s throw out these names and see what sticks: Jawbreaker + Small Brown Bike + Cap’n Jazz + Sunny Day Real Estate + Braid + Christie Front Drive + Mineral + The Promise Ring + you know, just keep going with that line of thinking and you’ll be fine.

I have conveniently posted my current favorite Crash of Rhinos song. But really, the whole album this song is from (it’s called “Knots”) is really good. You should check it out. You know, if you like this sort of after-emo-meant-punk-before-emo-meant-eyeliner thing. It was nice to learn that I still do. (and that Toyota’s UK headquarters is in Derby - that town keeps surprising me.)

(*September 12th, 1995)

Published July 31, 2013
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