No matter what you do in life, you should always strive to put your best foot forward, which is sound advice overall, but especially important when you only have four songs to win over a listener. And heed that advice CRNKSHFT did with “Systematic,” the beastly opener of their eponymous EP. Stomping drop tuned leads, soaring vocals and hard-charging grooves litter the lead single, a formula that pays off in spades on the riff-tacular “Tears Me Apart,” CRNKSHFT’s most accessible offering.  CRNKSHFT channels Alice In Chains on the sludgy “Old Habits” (that guitar solo requires multiple spins) before reminding us all how awesome nu-metal was on the closing “Breaking the Silence” (think Soil, Drowning Pool, Full Metal Jacket, etc.). Producer Daren Grahn’s (Metallica, Motley Crue) fingerprints can surely be felt across CRNKSHFT’s four tracks, but this EP is much more than one man behind a mixing board. The band says that they are ‘accepted by all those who listen to metal and rock’ and a truer sentence may have never been spoken.

Grade: B+

Go Download: “Tears Me Apart”