The Crumbs – Last Exit (CD)

The Crumbs have been around for a decade. In that time they have been on two larger independent labels, with TKO being their third. The Crumbs are also a band that can move all through different sounds and harmonies in their way to making a truly chameleonic album. However, in all of the moving through genres and intensities, we are left with a very uneven album, with some of the most memorable tracks, like “Dead Guy Boogie” and “Till Next Day” not placed on the disc until the extreme end. Some tracks like “All Choked Up” contain a speed-laced sound but are lacking some intensity in the vocalist’s tone. What could have been an instant punk classic is relegated to a track that is solid but forgettable. The rockabilly influence on the guitar lines is reminiscent of early Cramps or X, while The Crumbs’ vocalist tries a myriad of approaches, including a Tim Armstrong-esque mock voice in “Drunken Call” and “Teenage Con Artist”. “Teenage Con Artist” is “Last Exit” exemplified in one track, moving from incredibly compelling, during the chorus, to purely mediocre (in the early stanzas).

For every strong track, there is a track that exists for being “par for the course”. A track, such as “Trouble on My Trail”, that would seem to have all the necessary hooks to it to make it good, but ends up being a mediocre track with an uninspired guitar solo and half-hearted vocals. While there are a few tracks that are diamonds in the rough, a great number of these tracks don’t try to go any farther than the basic framework that The Crumbs laid out on “Hoboes”. While The Crumbs seem to be impeccably on most of the CD, some of the time signatures seem more chaotic, and as such, make the track seem messy when it is really not.

Longevity does not always mean the band is amazing. The Rolling Stones have been playing for over 40 years, the Exploited is nearing twenty-five, and even *NSync is about 7 years old. This is not to say that the Crumbs should be lumped in as no talent hacks, but rather to give the band another shot, either by picking up one of their previous albums (which are all still in print) or waiting until their next album. “Last Exit” has far too many filler tracks that clog up the disc, drawing attention away from the 4 or 5 impressive tracks, and possibly even giving individuals new to the band a bad idea of who The Crumbs are.

Top Tracks: Dead Guy Boogie, Till Next Day

Rating : 5.2/10

The Crumbs – Last Exit / 2004 TKO Records / 14 Tracks / http://www.tkorecords.com / Released January 2004 / Reviewed 07 February 2004

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