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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 May
Sounds like … a heavy and surprisingly diverse modern rock style that evokes everyone from Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, and Fall Out Boy to Thursday, All Star United, and SwitchfootAt a glance … The Classic Crime stands out from the cookie cutter modern rock scene with hopeful spiritual expressions, precision playing, and a broader stylistic range that maintains cohesionTrack Listing The Fight The Flight of Kings Who Needs Air Blisters and Coffee The Coldest Heart All the Memories Say the Word I Know the Feeling Warrior Poet Bitter Uprising We All Look Elsewhere Headlights

Seattle-based The Classic Crime derives its name in tribute to historical martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs while serving the downtrodden. The quintet got its start in high school, gradually making a name for itself in the Pacific Northwest before touring with Anberlin and Emery. Today they're featured on the prestigious Warped Tour in support of their national debut Albatross, produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Chevelle, Cold).

Amid a few songs about unrequited love are consistent themes of building hope through relationships and living out convictions fearlessly, as clearly heard in the opening track, "The Fight." Matt MacDonald's voice occasionally flirts with hardcore screams, yet it's always clear enough to understand the contemplative lyrics of prayerful brokenness ("The Coldest Heart"), the challenges of maintaining faith ("Warrior Poet"), and finding spiritual rebirth through grace ("The Flight of Kings"). The soaring "Who Needs Air" is particularly touching in allusion to finding hope and peace through faith: "I'm drowning, but I don't care/Because when you got what I got, who needs air?"

Though the band members were raised with a love of classic metal and an appreciation for grunge, their sound doesn't fit either stylistically. This is strong modern rock that balances intensity with melody, and while this group isn't exactly innovative, they make up for it with performance precision and a surprising measure of variety. Instead of clearly resembling one band, it's good that The Classic Crime evokes everyone from Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, and Switchfoot to Thursday, Jimmy Eat World, and even All Star United, spanning across power pop ("All the Memories"), hard emo/punk ("Blisters and Coffee"), and bouncy guitar rock ("I Know the Feeling" and the insanely catchy "The Coldest Heart"). That range, combined with the poetic spiritual expressions, set The Classic Crime apart from the rest of today's cookie-cutter modern rock scene.

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