Crime In Choir
Crime In Choir
rime in Choir has been around, approximately, for about two years now. It took them two long years of playing together to issue out their debut LP on Omnibus Records. The group has had a few line up changes, but the core of the groups focus has always remained the same: frenetically paced math/prog rock with a pinch of synthesizer to lighten the mood. This first release features all of these characteristics in abundance, adhering closely to the dictum that faster and more complex is better and that technical virtuosity is of higher import than songwriting skill.
Unfortunately, this is what ultimately makes the album a failure. While it is obvious on every track that each player is incredibly gifted at their respective instrument(s), no one steps forward in the band to edit the group’s songs into exciting and pleasurable listening experiences. Instead the songs are highly repetitive and almost boring once the novelty of a band that can play that fast wears off.
Exhibit A: On the opening song, the group quickly launches into a jazz inflected romp. The synthesizer quivers and stabs and only slowly unfolds a melody at the end of the melodic line. While this is going on the drums skitter across the snares, almost at the pace of a drum roll, but a bit slower. The upbeat nature of the recording shows off the skill of a drummer that can produce such a sound from the kit, but when it is backing up a subpar melody and meandering bassline, it comes off as wasted space. The song frequently wanders off into short digressions from the main theme, but quickly return. These digressions prevent any sort of permanent flow from developing, but also are not distinctive enough to stand out on their own as jarring or disconcerting. In the end, it’s just kind of boring.
At just about half an hour, Crime in Choir’s debut LP shows the group to be incredibly talented musicians. It also shows the band to be an incredibly mediocre group. Only the last song, “Cincinnati”, hints at an interesting direction that group may take, which is of a more focused and direct approach to songwriting. Per the genre, the music on this record is somewhat abrasive and generally a hard listen at first listen. Instead of revealing its intricate details on later listens, however, the album only reveals its general mediocrity. With a world full of math rock greats like Don Caballero, the 90 Day Men, and the Oxes Crime in Choir seem almost unnecessary, unless, in the future, they can come up with something interesting and new to say with their music. Here’s hoping they do.