The Cringe | Scratch the Surface

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United States - NY - New York City

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Rock: Modern Rock Rock: Grunge Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Scratch the Surface

by The Cringe

NYC based post-grunge, alt-rock band The Cringe is a hard-hitting quartet with a punk aesthetic, irresistible hooks and shimmering melodies.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Another Day
3:48 $0.99
2. Burn
4:15 $0.99
3. Too Many Problems
4:26 $0.99
4. Kiss Me When You're Dead
4:40 $0.99
5. I Don't Know
2:24 $0.99
6. Grave
6:40 $0.99
7. Been Alone
3:55 $0.99
8. Life That You Choose
4:13 $0.99
9. Empty Table
3:48 $0.99
10. Far Away
2:14 $0.99
11. Song 13
1:19 $0.99
12. On and On
3:34 $0.99
13. Blood
4:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Formed in New York City a little over a year ago, The Cringe came about as the result of four guys getting together to exorcise their rock and roll demons with a little help from memories of the artists they have listened to since they were kids. From Hüsker Dü to the Beatles, The Ramones to John Coltrane, and Television to Les Claypool, it is a wide variety of artists that can be found on the list of influences flaunted by The Cringe, and it shows. But this is not just another overly derivative project where you'll find a hint of this here and a touch of that there, because The Cringe somehow manages to take a wide variety of influences and melt them into one unique musical product.

The band's debut album, Scratch the Surface, does not waste any time delivering the goods. Nor is it shy about showing off the band's impressive range of abilities. The opening track, "Another Day," begins with a bit of spacey psychedelia that pulls you in and puts you in a soothed state of mind. But don't get too comfortable, because you'll soon be banging your head and tapping your toes the minute the first verse kicks in, with its crunchy guitar chords, pummeling rhythms, and hook-laden lead guitar and vocals. Switching things up yet again is the infectious chorus that follows, and you'll more than likely find yourself humming along even after just one listen.

But the opening punch of "Another Day" isn't all The Cringe has to offer. The band spends the remainder of the album flaunting its skills in all the right ways. There are slightly more psychedelic and jam-based songs like "Been Alone" and "Too Many Problems," as well as more hypnotic and lulling ballads like "Empty Table," "Kiss Me When You're Dead" and "Blood." There are punk-tinged blasts like "I Don't Know" and "Life That You Choose," as well as infectious pop-rockers like "Far Away" and "On and On." Needless to say, the band is not one that cares to be considered easily predictable. Some songs, such as the far-reaching "Grave," go as far as touching upon several of these styles at once, while still maintaining the strong sense of togetherness that is a definite highlight of the album.

In addition, the band refuses to rely on anything it hasn't created itself. There is no glossy overproduction and no synthetic instrumentation, just a strong sense of musicianship and a wholly organic feel to every song. Bassist Matt Powers and drummer Shawn Pelton play off of each other like they have been doing this for ages, providing the strong platforms upon which the rest of the songs are built. Singer and guitarist John Cusimano has the sort of voice that makes his words easily accessible and he writes songs that give off the same sort of vibe, but he is not the sort of front man to insist that all of the attention be focused on him. He knows that he is surrounded by three equally talented musicians, and he is not afraid to let the spotlight roam. Meanwhile, lead guitarist Rob Levin punctuates every song with just the right number of blazing solos to keep the rest of the band on its toes.

Best of all, the album manages to capture some of the intensity of The Cringe's live show. The band recently raised the bar for itself by dishing out a stellar performance at Sunfest 2004 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Making the most of an opening slot for The Doors of the 21st Century, The Cringe worked the crowd into a frenzy, eventually bringing things to a memorable climax by sending one young fan home with Cusimano's guitar. Though it is difficult to imagine any band being able to walk into a studio and reach that same energy level, Scratch the Surface comes awfully close.

For additional information please visit The Cringe website at

To request an interview with the band, please contact Rhonda Kelley at Rainmaker Publicity, Tel: 617-889-4122; email:



to write a review


Great, they really rock!
Enjoyed this immensely,so many other groups try to borrow elements from different influences and just plain sound weird, this group pulls it together for a unique and riveting sound.


great cd
This is a really good CD, I have listened to it about a dozen times since getting it the other day. Very catchy, can't wait for the next one to come out.

Andrew H.

No doubt in my mind...
This is BY FAR the most amazing CD I have bought from CD Baby! I love the chorus in Burn, the mellow verse of Too Many Problems, and...aww hell, I love it all! Anyone even *thinking* about buying this should stop right now and just BUY IT!!!!


Cool Sound
I never listened to a CD like this before and I was surprised that it was that good. I'm waiting for the next one and maybe the video


As a first time customer, no problems, very quick service and was right on top of everything. Loved the cd. Thanks!


Hooks Galore
"Scratch the Surface" is full of hook-laden tunes that will appeal to any fan of the emo genre. It's a great new addition to my collection. As a bonus - the cover art is very cool. It's good to see someone pay some attention to cover art, a dying art from for CDs.