Only Crime


Written by: PP on 17/08/2014 23:24:23

Only Crime is a punk rock supergroup that features Good Riddance vocalist Russ Ranking, Bane guitarist Aaron Dalbec, and Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson in its lineup among other, lesser known names. They released a couple of albums in mid 00s that were moderately well received by the Epitaph and Fat Wreck crowds, and earned the group a few spots on relevant festivals and the classic Deconstruction tour among other appearances. They've been quiet for seven years, but now they're back with third album "Pursuance", which sounds more or less like a Good Riddance continuance than an album by an independent unit.

Much of that can of course be attributed to Russ Rankin's scratchy vocal style that's eerily similar to how he used to lead the charge with Good Riddance back in the days. Musically, the band play a mid-tempo punk rock with a hardcore base that draws from the Black Flag style while adding in distinctly mid 90s hardcore punk sounds in the process. If you've ever heard Strung Out albums after their pop punk era, that's pretty much the harsher punk rock style you're looking at here, albeit far less technical in comparison. This is part of the problem, because aside from a few memorable vocal melodies scattered across songs like "Drowning", "Emptiness And Lies", "One Last Breath", and "In Blood", the album isn't very interesting instrumentally. It carries over the same problem as Good Riddance had all the time, which was that while the lyrics were incredible at times (just as they are here as well), the band always lacked the hooks and catchy riffs to write truly classic songs within the genre. Throughout "Pursuance" that is very much the case as well, where so many tracks are promising but lack the final punch that would make you remember them beyond the immediate listening session. Some of this can also be attributed to the monotonous nature of the songs which causes them to blend in with one another, leaving few obvious highlights to take away in the end.

As such, "Pursuance" is not exactly a disappointing album because it's not like Only Crime ever wrote a landmark release that would've warranted sky-high expectations. It has decent melodic hardcore songs that lean heavily on a mid 90s Epitaph punk rock platform, some more aggressive than others, with subtle melodies embedded within. But it rarely surpasses decent, leaving an album behind that's a must check for any die-hard Good Riddance or Strung Out fans, maybe even Descendents fans to an extent, but not one that's likely to make appearances at end-of-year lists come December.

Download: Drowning, One Last Breath, In Blood
For the fans of: Good Riddance, Strung Out, The Shell Corporation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.05.2014
Rise Records

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