Only Crime – Virulence (CD)

This may only be the second album that Only Crime has released together as a band, but members of the band have been in other bands, releasing a number of album before taking on the Only Crime name. Specifically, members of Only Crime came from the seminal punk band Good Riddance, along with members from the lesser-known act Bane and the smaller band Hagfish. “Everything For You” has a typical punk type of sound, with the guitars having a heavy amount of fuzz. While the arrangements that Only Crime have on this track is catchy, the fuzz seem to detract slightly from the enjoyment that one has with the track.

The song starts off with the band approaching a Rise Against sound, before moving into a mid-nineties hardcore breakdown, and finally moving into a California punk chorus. The disparate elements of Only Crime come forth pretty clearly on this track, but it is really the fact that the members of Only Crime have been in so many other bands that allow this track to be more cohesive than it would be if another band played it. The chunkier, almost bass-like guitar lines that start off the disc’s first track “Take Me” give individuals a different idea of what Only Crime might sound like, with the band almost creating a Ministry-like instrumental arrangement during the track. The vocals sound comparable to Henry Rollins-era Black Flag, while still maintaining a full dollop of pop-punk in their repertoire. The track would almost be able to make it on rock radio, but there still seems to be a few rough crags on the instrumentation that holds the track back from being a complete success.

Still, Only Crime’s approach is rough, intense, and will force individuals to be interested, regardless of what music the person may like. During “Take Me”, the band’s eclectic nature is further shown at the end of the track. During this segment of the track, the vocals become much more closely aligned to those of Matt Skiba. “Eyes of the World” goes back to the early, almost California thrash of earlier tracks, with guitars that sound interesting but do not necessarily fit the vocals perfectly. This is slightly off-putting, but Only Crime more or less makes it work. The output on “Virulence” is much like the output on “Eyes of the World”. There are brilliant parts at points, but the disc struggles to impress.

Top Tracks: Too Loose, In Your Eyes

Rating: 5.1/10

Only Crime – Virulence / 2007 Fat Wreck / 12 Tracks / / / Reviewed 18 April 2007


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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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