Crime In Stereo – Selective Wreckage

  • Keith Rosson posted
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Crime In Stereo

Selective Wreckage - Bridge Nine Records

Gotta say, I feel vastly underqualified to review something as loaded as a singles/rarities record from a band I’ve never heard before, and apart from a few comp tracks here and there – none of which stand out in my memory – that’s what I’m looking at with Crime In Stereo. I’d love to say that Selective Wreckage is neither as linear or coherent as recent rarities collections by bands like Swingin Utters and The Measure (SA), but again, mired in my own ignorance of these dudes, I’ll keep my trap shut in that regard. Besides, there’s actually some nice work on here – if anything, at ten songs and twenty-three minutes, it’s over a little too soon.

Crime In Stereo’s got an unabashed Lifetime thing going on, in the sense that they’re totally unafraid of allowing the vocals to become a melodic and guiding force – there’s never a sense that this is just a disparate group of musicians with a dude yelling over the top of em. The baffling part is that there’s also something intrinsically… “Discordish” about this record in a way that I still can’t put my finger on – and honestly, I can’t tell if it’s some long-forgotten Dischord band or Dag Nasty that I’m hearing, which is going a long way towards driving me apeshit. But there’s a kind of layered melancholy to the vocals, laid over driving, detail-oriented melodic hardcore that makes it clear why this band is as big as they are – it is, resoundingly, some pretty good stuff. If I was more of a fan of the genre itself, I’d be stoked.

Anyway, Selective Wreckage is comprised of nine unreleased tracks (including the recordings for a split with Capital that never found its way to being released) and one song from their Nitro Records EP from 2006. Features outtakes from their Is Dead and Troubled Stateside LPs, and it’s all reasonably dense, catchy stuff that never trips over itself or gets bogged down in its own self-consciousness. It’s obvious from the competency of the musicianship and seamlessness of the music and lyrics itself (I can think of few bands who would tackle the topic of suicide-bombing from a first-person perspective like Crime In Stereo does in “Takbir”) that these gentlemen are whip-smart.

If you’re into the band, you’re probably drooling to get your hands on these songs. If, like me, you’re not particularly a fan of the group, you can still appreciate their work and acknowledge that Selective Wreckage is by no means an embarrassing addition to their discography. Challenging stuff, if ultimately a little thin on content.