The Classic Crime


Written by: HES on 11/12/2012 21:09:16

”Phoenix” is an album of a different origin than most. The Classic Crime left their former record company Tooth and Nail but instead of finding a new record company to put money into production of their 4th studio album, the band chose a new option called “Kickstarter”. The Kickstarter principle basically means that instead of (in this case) bands can “borrow” money directly from their fanbase instead of having outside actors such as a record company dictate how the music should sound to make profit. The project was called “The Classic Crime New Album” and reached the estimate of $30.000 within 24 hours granting the band an alternative way of releasing this album. In return the backers got a two week early release.

The album itself is a bit dark and gloomy at the first listen. But as you get more into it, a positivity opens the album up using tempo and musical build-ups to these parts. Phoenix has a clear radio-rock vibe to it, but with a bit more heart and sincerity than most of those due to Matt MacDonald’s expressive vocals. One thing that makes Albatross not your generic radio-rock album is the elements the band lends from their pop-punk past. This is obvious both in musical arrangements but especially through Matt’s voice that has not changed as much as The Classic Crime’s general style over the years.

Speaking of voices; an overall theme of the album is a wonderful use of unison choir and backing vocals giving it several layers. Especially on the opening track “One Man Army” and the goosebumpingly beautiful “Heaven and Hell”. One of the other good decisions the band has made is to let the bass and drums carry more weight in numbers such as “Let Me Die” it allows the beautiful high-pitched guitar-refrains soar above the grounded soundscape. In spite of the gloomy song titles (“Dead Rose”, “Let Me Die”, “Heaven and Hell”, “City of Orphans”) the band manages to keep a musical perspective beyond a generic emo-pop album. The result is a thought-provoking view of contrasts between the up-lifting and the melancholic.

As you may have noticed, this writer is quite taken-aback by this album. The only downside is that the album is quite hard to get into. At a quick listen the tracks sound a little bit alike and unfortunately a lot of them have almost the same tempi. Do not expect it to open up as quickly as the “Vagabonds” that had a bit more instant momentum. But don’t despair. The album truly opens up to you by your 2nd – 3rd listen.


Download: Glass Houses, You and Me both, Heaven and Hell
For The Fans Of: Anberlin, House Of Heroes, Quietdrive

Release Date 14.08.2012

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