The GB Album Club 043 - Crime in Stereo is Dead by Crime in Stereo

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UncleJam23

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Duders! Welcome to the 43rd edition of the Unofficial Giant Bomb Album Club! For a while, we've been dormant, wading through the rigmarole of getting our shit together and building a new pool. But our shit has been secured and now we have the biggest pool we've had in quite some time! This cycle, we begin with Crime in Stereo is Dead by Crime in Stereo! This album was selected by @galaxiid and you can listen with the links below:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4yUbZUOpxSuioch7G122pP?si=1OVQjdlMSN2XKKCBSqSPzw&nd=1&dlsi=08ce3154c3f944b2

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/crime-in-stereo-is-dead/1437186073

Bandcamp: https://bridge9.bandcamp.com/album/crime-in-stereo-is-dead

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lEmTwJC3-Sedcg89enBscMrRyTEkHhiPo

Here at the Unofficial GB Album Club, we gather in a Discord and make a pool of albums. We then pick one of said albums every week to listen to and discuss. We're full up on submissions at the moment, but if you want to come chill out and eventually get in on the next cycle (though that'll be a while), come on down!

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UncleJam23

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I found myself in a weird place with this one.

On one hand, there's a lot about this album that I really loved, mainly that it finds an almost perfect balance between going hard (at least in the context of a post hardcore album) and being accessible. In fact, you could compare it to a lot of pop punk albums, but I think it has a lot more grit than that. I also think the singer has a really effective voice for the kind of music they make and their lyrics are fascinating. Sometimes they border on cringe, but rarely do they ever cross it. They're cryptic, but they frequently get something evocative and strange (in a good way).

On the other hand, I also felt at arm's length. I'll get my petty thing out of the way first, I don't like how the vocals are frequently layered below the guitars. Again, I think the singer has a good voice for the kind of emotionality they're trying to sell, and I do think he's trying to sell it, but it's frequently overwhelmed by the guitars. Which, hey, there's some great guitar shit here. It's just that, to me, the guitars and the vocals sound like they're in conflict with one another over my attention.

Moreover, I think they struggle with really getting to the emotional core with their songs, mainly in how they structure them. I'm talking out of my musical depth here, but it's like they set up a song to hit a certain emotional punch, but rather than seeing that through, they just jump into a new music idea. A new riff or a new time signature or something like that. I was really enjoying a lot of the songs but I can't say any of them felt fulfilling.

And yet, I've come back to a few of the songs every now and then, so there's something there. This might be one of those cases where I like an earlier or later album of their's better. But for me, it's definitely a case of an album I think is very good in a lot of ways, but I'm still disappointed because it's not quite great and they clearly have the capacity to get there.

Also I judged the shit out of this album going into it because I think Crime in Stereo's kind of a cringy name, but as a fan of groups with waaaaaaaaaay worse names, I know how to let that slide eventually.

Favorite Songs: "Third Atlantic" "Vicious Teeth" "Choker"

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redwing42

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I was also left unfulfilled by this album. It was pretty good, and I generally enjoyed it, but none of the songs really had that punch to really grab me. Short comments because I'm catching up, but I'd be interested in seeing if some of their other songs/albums have a little more of what I'm looking for, because this one was close, but just lacking a bit. Favorites: "...But You Are Vast," "Small Skeletal"

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Ben_H

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Also I judged the shit out of this album going into it because I think Crime in Stereo's kind of a cringy name, but as a fan of groups with waaaaaaaaaay worse names, I know how to let that slide eventually.

I saw they're from the mid-aughts so they're in the era of weird band names designed to get attention on Myspace and blogs. I listened to a bit of this album and was like "Oh this is one of those" for bands with attention-grabbing names but just meh-to-decent output. If they're gonna commit to the "this name is stupid and we know it's stupid" bit then they need to commit to it properly like the band Does It Offend You, Yeah? and their album "You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into" (please note this band pre-dates right wing shitheads on the internet using offending/triggering as a thing so they're not one of those. They're a British band from like 2006-2008ish). That band fully commits to having everything on that album have weird/dumb names and be appropriately weird as songs themselves. They have everything from Justice/Digitalism-ish electronic songs to indie rock but with prominent steel drums(???) and an instrumental surf rock song.

Another band from this era of British music that commits the crime of having a dumb/good name but not living up to it is Shitdisco, a fantastic band name but an extremely boring band to listen to. Their output is the most bare bones boring indie rock possible. It's kind of a crime that they were able to claim that name.

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redwing42

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Just to piggyback, "You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into" is, in fact, a fun album. Dawn of the Dead is a legit banger.