Friday, March 05, 2010

Review: Crime in Stereo, I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

Crime in Stereo
I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

Bridge 9 records is somewhat of a mainstay in the current hardcore scene. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when they were releasing records by some of the best bands in that scene, like Think I Care and Give Up The Ghost. But their catalogue has slowly been dwindling, and even amongst a slew of good releases over the past few years, including Paint it Black’s Amnesia and Ceremony’s almighty Still Nothing Moves You, they’ve managed to veer off into a whole new direction with releases that fit some new aesthetic hipness but fall entirely short of being even remotely substantive. With Crime in Stereo’s 2010 release I Was Trying to Describe You To Someone, it’s fairly evident that they’ve reached an all time low.

Crime in Stereo released some great melodic hardcore records in the middle of last decade. The Troubled Stateside was filled to the brim with anthems worthy of long night drives and it wouldn’t feel wrong dancing along to these songs at top volume. Is Dead was a whole new direction for the band, as they embraced some bastardized mixture of their earlier work with the epic pop balladry of later Brand New, and while it worked on that release, it was easy to see how this sound could lead the band in a direction far removed from their roots. 

And when a band changes it’s sound entirely, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Often a fresh change is necessary to keep a band from falling into a cycle of repetition, but on I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone, we’re given something a little too new. The album rings like an awkward mixture of all things alternative, and could easily have been released as a set of scrapped Brand New demos because of their likeness to that band’s most recent works, and because of their sheer lack of quality. Theres a little bit for everyone (to hate) here; the unnecessarily quivering vocal lines, the half-hearted use of new electronic instrumentation, the attempted heavy riffage, the failed use of drenching reverb on guitar and vocals... the list is endless. I may have said that they could put this into practice better live, but after seeing them on tour with Ceremony and Paint it Black this summer, I severely doubt that a possibility. Do yourself a favor and avoid picking up this record. Even avoid downloading it and wasting the space on your hard drive. Go pick up Brand New’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me or Trophy Scars’ Hospital Music instead.

-- James McGrory
Host, "The Shape of Punk to Come," Mondays from 3-4 pm on WGTB

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