The Classic Crime - Seattle Sessions
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: November 6, 2007
Nothing The Classic Crime has done so far has wow'ed me. Both their debut and sophomore album are decent, but not excellent. Acoustic EP: Seattle Sessions, which was born in the time between the two full-lengths, aims and nails a category much higher than "good, not great." This is a relatively long EP, but it showcases the potential The Classic Crime have in being both unique and catchy.
Acoustic EP: Seattle Sessions is nothing like either Albatross or The Silver Cord. Almost every track on the EP is stripped down to little more than the voice of Matt MacDonald and an acoustic guitar. Aside from the catchy "Seattle" or the poignant "Far From Home," the album mostly stays away from the pop-punk/post-hardcore blend the band is known for. Instead, we find hints of jazz, folk, blues and just plain infectious (infectious deserves its own genre, doesn't it?). The record is a pure delight to listen to from start to finish, displaying what I like to think is The Classic Crime's true identity: a gentle and addicting acoustic band. Tracks like "The Drink In My Hand (live)" will have listeners humming along to its harmonic tune, whereas the folksy "The Test" will turn more than a few heads with its peculiar guitar accompaniment.
Vocally, MacDonald's semi-gruff voice shines like the sun. Like Dustin Kensrue from Thrice, MacDonald's voice sounds like it was made to sing soft blues songs (both singers sound awkward when attempting harder songs). Lyrically, the songs go from cheesy to beautiful; one second the listeners are forced to cringe with "California sounds nice / But California's a lie... My life is like a muddy river / So muddy and absurd"; the next second, ears are graced with "Wake up you faithless / You won't be here for long / And this shipwreck will soon be gone / All that I know is what I've learned from troubled times / I've stood alone on the last shore, weapon in hand under black skies / I have been hunted through the valleys and the corners of my life / Fight or die." The theme mainly revolves around the troubles of life and touring as a band.
I'm confident that for The Classic Crime, to put away their crunching power chords and pick up their acoustics is the wish of more than one person. After hearing Acoustic EP: Seattle Sessions, I cannot fathom why the band would then go out and create a painfully juvenile (in melody structure, but that's for another review) disc like The Silver Cord. This acoustic prestige is, simply put, so good. If you're contemplating where to start with The Classic Crime, start with Acoustic EP: Seattle Sessions and put their other records second.
totally disagree about Matt McDonald and Dustin Kensrue's vocals sounding awkward with harder sounds, but otherwise a solid review. nice work man.
i do enjoy thrice's harder stuff (vheissu is an all time favorite), but dustin always sounds like he's got something in his throat that prevents him from fully getting his voice out. same w/ matt. listening to it always makes me want to clear my throat.
I disagree on a few points. One, Matt's vocals are good whether singing to acoustic music or to that "crunching power chord sound." Secondly, I think there are only a few song on Seattle that go beyond The Classic Crime norm..."The Test" and "When the Time Comes." All the other songs have multiple elements from other songs on their LPs. For example, "Blindfolded" has the same bouncy sound as "The Coldest Heart" from Albatross, and "Wake Up (Shipwreck)" is just another beautiful ballad similar to "Salt in the Snow" from The Silver Cord. So really, what they are doing on the Seattle isn't a total change in style. Is it acoustic? Yes. But it's still The Classic Crime. I myself prefer their full electric sound, but I do enjoy this EP. Good review though.
This CD is pretty much bomb -- i love it so much
and i don't think you were too hard on the silver cord, i was pretty disappointed, especially with "the way that you are" - it was juvenile and obnoxious, but i'm just judging harsher because of how awesome of a band the classic crime is and how incredible their debut album was -- albatross was incredible, and seattle sessions was even better, with wake up(shipwreck) easily being my favorite, and after all that amazing i was expecting something beautiful with the silver cord, but it just wasn't there for me. It seemed like they went a little too far into the mainstream for me
anyrate, solid review, love the band, and ADORE the CD! xD