Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Crime in Stereo- Explosives and the Will to Use Them

    Long Island is a cesspool. Everyone knows that, whether they’ve actually been or not. It’s a cultural wasteland, devoid of redeeming qualities. In spite of this, a handful of decent bands have risen out of its ashes. Brand New, Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Latterman, The Fad, On the Might of Princes, and Small Arms Dealer all call the aforementioned strip of noxious land home, as do Crime in Stereo. Inevitably drawing from the frustration of living on the tumor adjacent to New York proper, Crime in Stereo play a catchy and technical breed of melodic hardcore which came to fruition on their first full-length, Explosives and the Will to Use Them.

    Explosives has the intricacy to entice those who find solace in the newest wave of emo (this guy), i.e. Algernon Cadwallader, Snowing etc, the brute force to call in the Minor Threat kids, and even some interestingly anthemic parts to boot. While some of the album gets caught in the rut of lightspeed boom-chick-boom boom-chick punk drums and indistinct guitar chugging, they truly put their mark where it counts. Longwinded silly titles aside, “Warning: Perfect Sideburns Do Not Make You Dangerous” is like being thrown against your will into a g-force machine until you black out, complete with the threat of “So you fuckers say you want a war?”. Lyrically, each song is more of a rant than a piece of music, but when matched with gruff untrained vocals, it comes across as nothing less than sincere. One overarching message is “We’re punk rock! Look at the scene decaying”, which really changes nothing as they’re more or less preaching to the choir, and the punk scene has been decaying since its inception. Their songs get a huge boost when their content strays more towards drinking alone and broken hearts. The over-hard macho gang vocals sometimes accidently recall Black Flag’s “T.V. Party”, but even this is excusable after the blunt force trauma that the guitars deliver.

    Most of the songs on Explosives barely hit the 2:30 mark, and when combined with the speed of each track, the record is full-speed sprint down Punk Rock Ave. that will merit several repeated listens. Album ender “Arson at 563” tops everything with the chorus of, “So close but still haloed to crash the calm/It’s only one night so what’s the harm”, a barbed hook guaranteed to stay lodged in your cochlea for days.

Explosives and the Will to Use Them


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    Nice writing too! Concise but detailed and analytical.

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