Review Summary: The Classic Crime create an inoffensive, repetitive album sure to get some radio play
I would imagine a bands worst fear would be along the lines of wondering if their new album, with a new sound, will be receipted and loved by their fan base. For some bands they have seen this challenge and bettered themselves through the experience, while others fail miserably at trying to change what they are as a band. But either way at least they are trying
to not rehash the exact same record over and over again. They know that nobody wants that, nobody wants the earlier version of anything. But surprisingly with The Classic Crimes third studio album Vagabonds the boys in The Classic Crime decided that it is safer not to venture into new territories, and write a record that we as listeners have heard oh so often within the scene. Vagabonds is a release by a band that seems to have given up on trying to mature as a band.
Matt Macdonald- Vocals/Guitar
Justin DuQue- Guitar
Robert Negrin- Guitar
Alan Clark- Bass
Paul Erickson- Drums
Straight away we can tell that Matt Macdonald seems to realize that his band may be done evolving musically. I may not have the perfect voice, but I’ll still sing at the top of my lungs until my days are done. I was once a child with a million plans and now I gots what’s in my hands, I don’t leave much to chance these days.
A Perfect Voice sets the tone, so to speak, for the rest of the album, but that’s not exactly a good thing. A Perfect Voice is a relatively short track (2:50) full of repetitive hooks and an over abundance of woahs. Now I’m always for an anathematic woah here and there but when the entire chorus and bridge consists of woahs it’s safe to say that you have crossed the line. Justin DuQue and Robert Negrin really step down as a focal point for Vagabonds and let Matt Macdonald take the lead, for better and for worse. But they do show up occasionally. Solar Powered Life is a guitar driven rock song that just so happens to be the bands first single. Complete with gang vocals and a cowbell breakdown this song is destined to be a radio hit. And you know what? It’s pretty damn catchy. It’s nearly impossible not to tap your foot and sing along with the rather simplistic lyrics My oh my what a beautiful day outside hey hey what a beautiful day
The album continues and what ensues are some rather lackluster moments that, I feel, keeps The Classic Crime in the shadows of their former selves. Although lyrically the album tends to lean towards doing what they want to do The Classic Crime seem to be catering to the whims of the Radio World. Nearly every single song is under 4 minutes and quite a few are even under 3, and they all follow the verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus/ending. It can be rather annoying, and quite frankly bad. While you will find lyrics like I may not ever see a dime but I’ll be fine. Yeah I’ll still get bye all the time a smile upon my face
, you’re still going to find more conformity then rebellion on Vagabonds.
But The Classic Crime do know how to put together a solid rock song. Although every tack on Vagabonds is unnecessarily repetitive it with out a doubt full of energy and angsty vocals. Matt Macdonald, as earlier mentioned, is the driving force behind Vagabonds. Through track such as The Happy Nihilist and My Name he manages to save the band from complete and utter mediocrity. But the album still has a few highlight tracks that wouldn’t even need Matt to succeed. The Count features everybody spot on and playing a song that is reminiscent of the better tracks from The Silver Cord. It’s got everything that made me fall in love with The Classic Crime, the tight guitar riffs and the invigorating vocals. To bad Matt McDonald and boys couldn’t write 11 tracks like The Count. Sure it wouldn’t be original but it would still be better then 11 tracks they released.
So The Classic Crime create an inoffensive, repetitive album sure to get some radio play. Although they were aiming at play music “they wanted to play” it just seems to forced, to unoriginal to even captivate their own fan base.