‘I’m sorry, who again?’ #2 – The Classic Crime

This blog is about bands/artists that, even though being around for some time, have still yet to achieve the recognition that they deserve beyond their loyal fanbases. With this blog I will bring you an artist or band each week that has yet to make that massive impact on mainstream music, giving short histories and mini reviews of their work to date and try to show you why they should be more prominent on your playlists.

It’s not that often that an artist or a band that have been present for nearly 10 years and who have toured with the likes of Owl City needing to crowd fund their latest release. Not only did they exceed the amount the originally wanted they got into the top 10 of kick-starter funded projects before the likes of Zach Braff and the people behind Veronica Mars got their already rich paws on it.

The Classic Crime formed in 2004 and was signed to Tooth and Nail Records, a Christian Rock label, even though they are not considered to be a band of that genre. The band released their debut ‘Albatross’ in 2006 opening with the heavy but catchy ‘The Fight’ the album is full of songs that you just want to yell along to. The one element that does set them apart from any other slightly heavy rock bands is their lyrics, an element which is present throughout their albums, listening to them sounds like they were written with emotion and almost poetic.

2008 saw the release of their second album ‘The Silver Cord’ a slightly darker record than ‘Albatross’ but the thoughtfulness and delicacy of their lyrics remained, a personal favourite of mine ‘Salt in the Snow’ is the tip of iceberg of how good the album is.

In 2010 the band let loose their third and final album under Tooth and Nail records, ‘Vagabonds’. This album was a different animal to their previous work much lighter, introducing more acoustic elements, which they introduced in the 2007 EP ‘Seattle Sessions’. ‘Vagabonds’ also had a few more songs that contained catchy lyrics almost verging into pop-rock with songs like ‘Solar Powered Life’ and ‘Four Chords’. But their trademark poetic and thought-out lyrics remain.

The couple of years preceding the release of, in my opinion their best album, ‘Phoenix’; the band lost a member, to the medical profession and to fatherly duties. Not to mention leaving their record label to go independent.

But in doing so ‘Phoenix’ is utter perfection every song bookmarked between the intro ‘One Man Army’ and the outro ‘I Will Wait’ is lyrically beautiful. The album combines elements of everything that had come before, but adding a chant-like sections which would be perfect for arena gigs and festivals. Slower tracks like ‘Dead Rose’ and ‘The Precipice’ delicate and poignancy to the album without bringing down the overall sound of the album.

This band has an absolutely stunning strength in their lyrics as I have mentioned constantly throughout this. There are subtle mentions of a higher power in very few of their songs but that shouldn’t deter you from a band that can deliver through lead singer Matt MacDonald’s superb voice alongside great music provided by Alan Clark, Robert Negrin, Paul Erickson and former member Justin DuQue.

Even going independent, which can be the nail in the coffin for most bands, hasn’t stopped them and as the likes of the Artic Monkeys have shown for years now great bands do not have to come from massive record labels. The Classic Crime owed so much to their fan-base when they crowd funded their fourth album and that debt was repaid in truckloads.

All of The Classic Crime’s albums are available on iTunes as well as their Acoustic EP.

By Jack Greenard