The Crumbs – Hold that Shit Right (CD)

I’ve reviewed The Crumbs once before. That album I wasn’t the biggest fan of, but that was The Crumbs 2003-2004, and this is the Crumbs 1993-2002, and I don’t feel that a blanket statement would do much to describe what clearly is a different phase for this long-lasting band. I’m shocked, I hear melody, and a style of punk that is a mixture of Rancid and The Ramones come out of the first track, “Dothan, Pill City, USA”, with the perfect pseudo-psychobilly guitar to top that off. While there is no indicator at what period each of the tracks originated, each of the first tracks are from the same mold, with bass blazing just as Raf’s sandy-throated set of vocals strafe the high end of things. The recordings on “Hold That Shit Right” are wildly different from each other, understandable as finances would fluctuate, but on a track like “I Think I Got The Blues”, the power of The Crumbs is hindered by a compressed recording.

Each track on “Hold That Shit Right” is a pure punk assault, each track immediately sing-able after the first listen, and without anything in the way of deadwood on this CD, “Hold That Shit Right” may just be preferable to one of The Crumbs new CDs or even a “greatest hits” collection. The CD blasts through the eighteen tracks all too quickly, with songs like “Sheila” tripping headlong into the grey area that no punk ever intends to tread – it is actually a danceable track! Simply put, “Last Exit” is not a good indicator of the sheer punk rock force that The Crumbs were for over a decade – Hold is that one in a thousand album that has nary a weak spot, typically spot-on recording, and a band that is solid musically and catchy aurally.

It is rare when a band so completely straddles the line between credibility and popularity of sound. Screeching Weasel was able to do that with “Booga…”, Green Day with “1039”, and Bad Religion with “Suffer”. Green Day and Bad Religion had fell into hard times mere years later with “Nimrod” and “No Substance” respectively, and I believe “Last Exit” is another album to adequately compare. However, Bad Religion has been able to redeem themselves, and hearing “Hold That Shit Right”, I have total faith that The Crumbs can retake the mantle which they lost. Pick this up, if you can find it.

Top Tracks: Sheila, Communist Radio

Rating: 9.6/10

The Crumbs – Hold that Shit Right / 2002 Recess / 18 Tracks / / Reviewed 05 August 2004

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