The Classic Crime
Albatross


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ecnalzen USER (17 Reviews)
October 10th, 2012 | 18 replies | 866 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An impressive debut from a band full of promise.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

It’s hard to find what feels like a genuine rock band anymore. When bands like Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, Godsmack (I could probably go on and on) dominate and plague (depending on your taste, obviously people like them or they wouldn’t still be around) the airwaves, sometimes you have to dig deep to find something worthwhile. I believe The Classic Crime’s debut Albatross is just that: A genuine rock album released by a genuine rock band.

You can basically boil Albatross down to two main types of songs: The pop/rock sounds of songs like “All the Memories” and “The Coldest Heart,” and the edgier, more rock driven tracks, such as “The Fight” and “We All Look Elsewhere.” There’s nothing too crazy going on instrumentally, but who says all bands need to be full of technical powerhouses on their respective instruments? There are plenty of catchy guitar hooks (with special mention on “Flight of Kings and “We All Look Elsewhere”), impressive vocal lines and fairly intricate drum patterns going on, but the bass can be difficult to pick out since it typically doesn’t veer away from the rhythm guitar. Speaking on the positive side, I do particularly enjoy Matt MacDonald’s lyrics. The more pop/rock songs have a very sincere, uplifting charm to them without being corny while the more rock based tracks are darker tinged, yet they never come off as angsty or whiny. He is probably my highlight of the band, vocally and lyrically. Whether he needs to sing softly (“Headlights,” the only real slow song on the album) or even yell/scream a little to put some more intensity into a track (“The Fight”); he can pull it off with his versatile voice.

The Classic Crime do a great job of hitting the pop/rock aspect of their sound except for “Who Needs Air.” It’s one of the lighter songs of the album combining nice, clean and simple verses with a more upbeat, distorted chorus. Unfortunately, the chorus lacks any real punch until after the bridge where some backing vocals are added in and the rest of the band becomes a little more active. If only it had taken some cues from “Say the Word,” a song of similar qualities with more successful results, or taken a similar route to “Headlights” and kept everything clean and not try to shoehorn a more upbeat chorus in. Either way, the song could have turned out better. On a side note, it has always kind of irritating to me when a band has only one slow song and throws it in at the end of the album. It’s almost like they do it because they think they have to. “Headlights” is a fantastic piece of music with some beautiful melodies, and the album could have used another slow, dulcet-like song to break up the stream of upbeat rock songs to give it a little more variety. As I’ve said, Matt has a great voice that especially shines on “Headlights” as he lets it soar between his lower and higher registers, which include some very nicely done falsettos and vibrato. I could have used another song like that displaying more of his vocal abilities. It’s a treat to have a vocalist this talented in a rock band along with fellow Tooth & Nail label mates (at the time of release anyway) Anberlin. There are few other modern rock vocalists in my mind that can be compared with the amazingly pure and clean singing voice of Stephen Christian, but I think Matt MacDonald could be well on his way.

“The Coldest Heart” and “I Know the Feeling” are probably the catchiest of the catchy songs, which hit in on all the right notes. “The Bitter Uprising” could get an honorable mention with its ridiculously addictive pre-chorus and chorus but is held back by the dull, lifeless verses. “Flight of Kings” is an excellent cross between the pop and rock songs with darker verses; bouncy, yet still tense choruses; and a softer, mellowed out bridge.

The edgier rock tracks are also well done but could use a little work in a couple of areas. “The Fight” is an aggressively upbeat, fantastic opener, while “We All Look Elsewhere” is definitely the heavier song on the album. They both make use of hard hitting power chords and some heavily palm muted sections. "The Fight" has MacDonald sporting some of his harshest vocals along with a simple, yet effective guitar solo in the bridge, while "We All Look Elsewhere" makes use of some lower, harmonized guitar parts in the verses along with some very nice lead sections. Both songs (as well as "Headlights") are very unique in nature compared to the rest of the album and stand out above the the pack. “Warrior Poet” gets it job done but is slightly overshadowed by the excellent aforementioned tracks, while on the other hand, “Blisters and Coffee” is a slightly mixed bag. While the intro and chorus of “Blisters” are nothing special, the free flowing verses and short lived bridge are excellent and somewhat make up for the other lackluster sections.

The band really excels at writing light verses that lead into big, sing-a-long choruses; it's just that it happens a little too often and becomes formulaic in a few spots. Minor quips aside, The Classic Crime have written and recorded an impressive debut and are another worthy addition to Tooth & Nail’s roster.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments


Hey buddy good review. I might have to give this album a listen I've only heard like 3 of their songs. My fav song from them is seattle. (pos'd)

Digging: The Who - Tommy

skoopy48
October 9th 2012



1440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They got better

Ecnalzen
October 9th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. I was having issues finishing this. It felt like I couldn't get it to flow like I wanted to. Oh well, I hope it turned out alright.

They are a great band, you might enjoy them. I've been listening to them since they first came around, haven't been disappointed by them yet. Vagabonds is my least favorite album by them, but it's still not bad by any means.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2012



3344 Comments


Nice review for a fantastic band, have a pos. I'd take out an "I think" at the beginning of your 3rd or 4th paragraph but other than that you're good!

Ecnalzen
October 9th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Brostep.

ABjordanMM
October 10th 2012



1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album.

Ecnalzen
October 10th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely. I dig The Silver Cord and Phoenix more though. Still a very solid debut.

ABjordanMM
October 10th 2012



1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here. This one's great but just not as mature.

Ecnalzen
October 10th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What did you think of Vagabonds, jordan?

ABjordanMM
October 10th 2012



1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only listened to it once through. Didn't think it was that great but it's def not as bad as people are saying it is. Also I don't have it in good audio quality which sucks.

Ecnalzen
October 10th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That bad audio quality can definitely kill the experience of it. It's a fun album. I think I would have liked it a lot more if it hadn't followed The Silver Cord, which is amazing. I guess it was just bad timing.

ABjordanMM
October 10th 2012



1361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol yeah totally true. Wouldn't made more sense after this album.

thelastsignal
December 24th 2012



1021 Comments


Love this album; good review. This is my favorite by them, actually.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

Ecnalzen
December 24th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a great debut. They blew me away with The Silver Cord though. It's probably my favorite alternative/rock album I've heard.

thelastsignal
January 2nd 2013



1021 Comments


What did you think of Anberlin's Cities?

Ecnalzen
January 2nd 2013



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like it. I was not aware that it was looked so highly upon until I got on this site tho. It has a few songs I'm not very fond of (Adelaide and Whisper And A Clamor) and some of my favorite Anberlin songs (Godspeed, Unwinding Cable Car, No Mathematics To Love And Loss and Reclusion). I have been listening to them since their first album and am pretty familiar with most of their material and I think Vital is their best so far.

thelastsignal
January 12th 2013



1021 Comments


Yeah, I still haven't got the chance to listen to Vital, even though I have listened to the entire discog besides that. Reclusion is one of all-time favorites by them. There was just a darkness in Cities that I haven't heard before that album or since then, but the only one that I didn't really enjoy was New Surrender. I will have to listen to The Silver Chord again, I don't remember being overly impressed with it when I listened the first time.

Ecnalzen
January 12th 2013



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea, Cities does have some of their darker songs. Vital definitely has a more meloncholy feel compared to their other
stuff as well. It has some of their heavier rock based songs to date, too.

I don't know what it is about The Silver Cord, but I just love it. My favorite thing about it is the pacing. To me, it feels like
the album takes you on a journey from beginning to end with the different musical styles, key changes and lyrical topics.



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