Evolving from very undeveloped and unorganized beginnings, Crime In Stereo have established themselves as insightful songwriters and musicians. 2005’s Is Dead was nothing short of an evolution for the group as there was a powerful focus on appealing and diverse arrangements. This resulted in beautiful developed tracks such as “Small Skeletal” and “Animal Pharm” which perfectly expressed the quality of music the band can distribute. Their latest album, I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone, is slightly less accessible than the previous record yet there remains a concentration on hardcore development. Crime in Stereo continues to demonstrate their ability to manifest complex and innovative melodies while still maintaining their hardcore roots.
The most noticeable and prominent component of I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone is that each track is anthemic. The group has attempted to create an audience involvement by having background shouting during the majority of the choruses. One example of this is in the track “Not Dead” in which Kristian Hallbert belts out his grudges towards another with the rest of the band shouting “hey” between each part of the chorus. This approach to writing tracks is extremely functional as it allows accessibility from individuals who may have previously been turned off by Crime in Stereo’s early minimalist sound in previous albums.
The album also presents very innovative guitar elements. The screechy yet polished riffs in “Odalisque” display the group’s ability to present clarity in the hardcore genre. What is unfortunate about many of these tracks is that Crime in Stereo uses the same formula as far as instrumentals. They have an affinity for dishing out two groundbreaking verses and choruses which is followed by a soft to loud transition. With the exception of the soft “Dark Island City” the band seems to conform to this simple process. This is only a small issue that is easily overlooked by well-developed riffs and mature lyrical execution associated with the band.
The band expresses its attempts at trying to stay away from the mainstream, especially the song “Republica” in which they state rather bluntly, “my starving artists all just bought in, we’re going mainstream…I think I’m starting to believe its the end of the world”. What is enjoyable to hear is that while Crime in Stereo have written anthem-esque songs, their alternative elements prevent it from losing its originality. The production of the album itself is quite the accomplishment as it administers a polish and quality rarely seen in the hardcore genre that aids its accessibility and charm.
I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone is a solid album that should appeal to returning fans as well as individuals who have never listened to Crime in Stereo before. While Is Dead may be the bands most accessible album, their latest release contains a much more developed and mature set of tracks that showcase a very talented group that with can easily aspire to new heights in the coming years in the hardcore genre.