Enough bands across the world do the style of emo/hardcore that Razor Crusade so faithfully reproduce on “Infinite Water”, but Razor Crusade’s music should not be dismissed as wholly unimaginative and mediocre. Rather, the pop-influences that Razor Crusade show on a track like “Our Planet is Intimate” shows a distinctive move towards a different sound and set of influences than most of the other bands to don the emo-hardcore tag. A great amount of foresight is shown on “Infinite Water”; making themselves distinct from other bands in terms of track length, Razor Crusade takes a page from the punk rockers and averages out their songs at about three minutes. This combats a serious problematic tendency of a number of “hardcore” bands, being the extension of tracks well beyond their means (i.e. having three minutes of material in a six-minute song). “Mark You’re A Hole” changes up the flow that the disc had previously by doing a 180 – chaotic guitars free of form dominate the track and create the polar opposite of the radio-friendly style of the following track, “Europeanly Adorable”.
“Europeanly Adorable” benefits from iconic guitar lines and smooth, emo-ic vocals laid down above the swirling eddies created by the guitars. Of specific note is the masked vocals that have their moment on the track – in this, Ivo’s goal is not to express emotion but rather create an instrument-like function for eir voice. “I Wish You Were Me” is the radio track for “Infinite Water”, being lead on by a dichotomy of vocals. – two “good cop” vocals to match up with the “cookie monster” type of vocals (and here, I only use Cookie Monster as a descriptor, as the vocals on the track are far above most “cookie monsters”.)
“You Should Be Lucky” is a three minute snapshot of who Razor Crusade are and what emocore music should be – hair-metal influenced guitars mix with heart-wrenching vocals as Harm’s bass chugs along. As with practically any band that mentions that they sound like Refused on their promo sheet, the music found on “Infinite Water” far outstrips anything those Swedish no-talents ever put out. It becomes hard for anyone to pin down Razor Crusade as specifically being influenced by one or two bands by the end of “Infinite Water” – the band, through their rich and full sound, have created a style of music that no one could conceivably call derivative.
Top Tracks: Sinking With Venice, Europeanly Adorable
Razor Crusade – Infinite Water / 2004 Reflections / 12 Tracks / http://www.razorcrusade.com / http://www.reflectionrecords.com / Reviewed 20 February 2005