Crime In Stereo – Selective Wreckage
Record Label: Bridge 9 Records
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Being that the last two books I’ve read have been memoirs - this seemingly impossible feat only took me 12 years - it seems fitting to review Selective Wreckage. A band such as Crime In Stereo has never found it logical to stick with a single sound. Their penchant for mixing, matching and mastering makes a B-sides/not-rarities-anymore compilation all the more thrilling. We get to see where the band has been, and we don’t even have to read anything! Oh, but we do. Don't let Kristian Hallbert’s gruffy vocals mask the wordy wizardry. Take “Takbir” for example: “I am the twenty-two year war of the third Infintada / I am the faithful, the grateful suicide bomber / A daily hajj to a dead end job.” I admit the subject material isn’t exactly novel – we all hate our jobs. I wear a sandwich board and, ironically, hock sub sandwiches – but this metaphor is powerful and confusing. (It uses another language!) I refuse to look up the meanings to these strange words, but I’m still going to use them frequently. Clearly, Selective Wreckage is already a winner.
Perhaps most interesting to long-term fans will be the three songs originally intended for the “mythical” Capital split EP. Other than “Takbir”, we have a melodic barnburner in “The Bride” and a grungy little bit of chaos by the name of “Four X’s.” If you jack it to The Troubled Stateside each night, and why wouldn’t you, these songs are must haves. Beginning with a bloodcurdling scream is “These People Ought To Know Who We Are And That We Are Here.” Originally intended for Is Dead, its schizophrenic, creepy atmosphere is only intensified by Hallbert’s agitated screams: “No, I am not dead / But I often wish I was / There is no relief / No retreat from this heavy shepherd’s crown.” His maniacal laugh will have you looking over your shoulder. Then you’ll cry to the Gods: “Why, Gods? Why wasn’t this included on Is Dead???” Finally, you’ll eat an Oreo to regain strength.
“Love” was conceived way back in 2005 and its simplicity barely hints at what was to come. Hallbert is less abrasive, but still coy as ever if the title is any indication. Still, I’ve been spoiled by the band’s present incarnation; B stands for boring. Most intriguing, however, is “Let Me Take You Out.” Remember, though, that statement is being made by me. I revel in heartbreak. The song’s spacey textures, agonizing screams and boop-de-boop electronics make it endlessly intriguing. Dastardly television producers, comic book writers and prude girlfriends call this a cliffhanger. "Let Me Take You Out" hints at an exciting future. No immediate punk rock influences can be heard in this track. Hell, there aren’t even any drums. But here's a band in a genre that tends to swallow creativity, and they’re somehow finding new solutions to musical cliches. The light of invention may be shining bright on these guys, but I’d bring a flashlight if I were you. It looks like the road ahead will be dark.
Recommended If You Like: It's a compilation record, so what the f**k do you want me to put here? CinS being driven around by the old dude in Back to the Future?
Nice review. I didn't really care for Is Dead like I did for The Troubled State Side. I need to pick this up. I like what I've heard so far. I went to see them last Friday night w/ NFG, but missed them and had to stomach what NFG played as music. That was one of the worst concerts I've ever been to. Wish I would've caught CIS.