Tuesday, May 18

Crime In Stereo's Challanging Little Success

Album: Crime In Stereo
Album: I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

As far as post-hardcore goes, no band is currently more true to the genre than Crime in Stereo. They used to play hardcore, and now they don't. It doesn't get much more straight forward than that.

Still, trying to pinpoint the sound on I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone is a fool's errand. The album is unlike any other I've heard in some time. It stretches the ideas of punk in new directions, resulting in something that sounds very modern and cerebral while still maintaining an aggressive edge through vocals and guitars.

So, yeah, this is a punk rock record. But it's a punk record the same way that OK Computer is an alternative rock record, or the same way that Illinois is a folk record. These albums, while technically just simple genre pieces, are actually much more for what they accomplish and how different they sound than anything else like them. I don't think Describe You will fall into the same game-changing category of the other two records, but it's just as good.

Patches of this album are downright melodic. This record has been out since February, and I'm still listening to the guitar melodies and vocal hooks of tracks like "Type One" and "Drugwolf." Indeed, the vocals are a big part of why these songs work. Singer Kristian Hallbert doesn't do much more than scream, but he has a real sense of melody, and, along with the band's skill of playing off the quite-loud dynamic, his hooks are a big part of why the record is such a success.

Vocal dexterity aside, this is a guitar record. I've never seen Crime in Stereo live, but I'd imagine that its guitar players are some of those guys who have dozens of pedals at their feet. There is a lot happening from the six strings, and, honestly, I'm not sure how a lot of it is happening. There are a lot of little electronic, ambient touches, like on “I Cannot Answer You Tonight,” that are difficult to pinpoint but are paramount to the album's success. The straight forward riffs are mighty good, too.

I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone
is a fitting album name. It is nearly impossible to explain this record's greatness on paper. Punk rockers who come into it blind, expecting some straightforward rock in the vein of Bear vs Shark or Polar Bear Club will be disappointed. However, forward thinking rock fans will be decoding this mysterious gem for months to come, enjoying it all the while.

Key Tracks:
Drugwolf, Exit Halo, Not Dead, Type One, I Cannot Answer You Tonight

Buy, Steal, Skip:

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