Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crime in Stereo - The Troubled Stateside CD Review

Nitro Records is on a hell of a roll right now. With recent, certified (via my eardrum certification program), kick-ass releases from A Wilhelm Scream and No Trigger, as well as upcoming releases from Enemy You and theStart, the addition of Crime in Stereo’s The Troubled Stateside to their catalog of releases is simply icing on the cake.

Crime in Stereo’s first full length release for Nitro is a phenomenal step up from their last effort, an EP entitled Fuel. Transit. Sleep. While their EP was much more straight ahead punk with a few hardcore influences, something like a mix of Sick of It All and Strike Anywhere, their latest takes on a less aggressive, but still intense, stance. It’s quite easy to hear the influence of labelmates No Trigger and other similarly flavored bands, such as Bigwig or Set Your Goals, but it doesn’t come off as merely copycatting. But enough with the name dropping — there’s going to be too much bold in this review if I don’t stop now.

In 12 songs Crime in Stereo manages to rip through the gamut of classically styled punk song types, which seems to be all of the rage the last month or two, spiced up with their original melodic hardcore leanings, and some gang vocals added in to stir up the pot a little. The melody found throughout isn’t so much melody, however, as it is actually really more like raspy singing, which only adds to the rough and tumble nature that permeates this entire effort.

Now, this CD is far from perfect or groundbreaking, but with that being known, the timing of this release is perfect. With summer coming up, the best place for this CD to be is in a car stereo, blasting songs like “For Exes” and “I’m on the Guestlist, Motherfucker” as kids drive to local punk shows or hit up record stores on the weekends to dig around through the used music section. Everything about this release feels like a summer, all fun, no work, enjoy life type of effort. It’s hard to believe that a punk flavored melodic hardcore release could be put into those terms, but it’s the best way to classify it beyond doing even more name dropping, which there was enough of in the first two paragraphs.

It’s often hard to find music that doesn’t feel manufactured or created to fit into a particular niche, especially with so many fashion-core bands on the market and meticulously crafted scene-specific tripe floating around the airwaves. Isn’t it great to hear a band that sticks to their guns, makes music that doesn’t feel forced, and creates a CD that can actually be listened to more than 3 times without getting outright boring? Let me answer that for you—it definitely is.

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