Hard to believe, but in the 10-plus years that The Cremains have made rawkin' their business, they've never been represented by a full-length recording. Besides the two EPs that started them off, there was the Sacred Stage album they did with Navajo singer James Bilagody. On that album, The Cremains found themselves marrying uncompromisingly hard rock sounds to Native American music and vice versa, with the discordant give and take providing much of its charm. Now with the group's latest release, The Bird, The Snake, and The Dog (plants and rocks and things sold separately), audiences get to meet The Cremains square on commercial territory, and they do not disappoint. The opening track, "Clockwise," moves with the authority of Foo Fighters, complete with a cameo by Bilagody chanting through a megaphone to give the song an otherworldly air, and angry lyrics that Kris Cremain hasn't got time to analyze ("It takes a million miles of string to make a man, or so I'm told"). And the band seems relaxed enough about its Tuba City roots to include "Rockohol," a song about drinking like champs. Because, after all, drinking to excess is a rock 'n' roll stereotype. "It takes an army to stop us when we party," screams Kris, but the Cremains find themselves immobilized by spirit water midway through, when Greenhaven singer Matt Strangwayes wanders by to assess the damage and wake them up when it's showtime. It's their funniest moment yet, without reservation.
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