The Classic Crime - The Silver Cord
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: July 22, 2008
I owe The Classic Crime an apology for calling their sophomore record "painfully juvenile". The name calling must have been a spur of the moment thing on a bad day, but I'm making it up now with a more upbeat review of The Silver Cord, after the album grew on me more over time. So here it is, along with a pledge to never make such rash assumptions ever again.
The Silver Cord is more radio friendly than the band's first album Albatross was, with a potential radio hit almost every other song. Most of these tracks are also pop-punk hits or misses; they're either really solid or just plain mediocre. Examples would include "Just A Man," where Matt MacDonald's lead vocals add an incredible beauty to the album, and "Closer Than We Think," which just leaves listeners jarred by awkward lyrics like "I long to smell the sea" (repeated about five times). There are more solid songs than mediocre ones, however, making The Silver Cord an anthemic experience.
As mentioned in my review of their acoustic EP, Seattle Sessions, an unfortunate drawback The Classic Crime suffers is MacDonald's vocals, which often sound too raspy for comfort. This is not the case so much on The Silver Cord though, and numbers like "The Way That You Are" help MacDonald's voice find its humble, but experienced home.
The album is also not afraid to wander into harder territories on "Abracadavers" and, accompanied by a very cool riff probably borrowed from a horror movie, "Medisin." Screams are often added for good measure, and though some songs are (at first listen) too poppy for a scream, the songs as a whole will grow on you; rest assured, the screams belong where they appear.
One thing I found to hinder the album from being completely enjoyable was the experimental theme that seems to pop up in random spots. "5805" features a gypsy-like opening line, a style that seems to be gaining popularity everywhere. While I'm sure the band was merely trying to sound unique, the line just doesn't fit in terms of the radio rock fervor the song displays. The dissonant riff after "God and Drugs" also feels out of place, though the band's attempt at experimental rock is highly appreciated by this listener (not to mention the harrowing "Oh oh oh"'s in the bridge; lack of lyrics?).
The Silver Cord is great radio rock/pop-punk fun that destroyed my initial impressions after it grew on me. Don't get me wrong, I still think The Classic Crime are much better when taking up their bluesy/jazzy folk style, but this is a legitimate sophomore release that will help them further garner the attention every band seeks.
anyone can write a generic radio pop tune. not everyone can dig into blues/folk and somewhat succeed.
I don't think everyone can, lol. I've seen plenty of failures.
Doing blues/folk bad though, isn't creative. I don't even really get how it's blues or folk, truthfully. I mean, if you put any one of their songs on with an electric guitar from that album, and then just picked up the pace a little bit, they'd be just as poppy as these. (with the exception of "drink in my hand" and "when the time comes"). To me, that album was just more pop tunes, slowed down a little bit with an acoustic guitar.
Good review! This album grew on me as well. The only thing I disagree with is his vocals being too raspy at times. I thinks the vocals on this album are really solid, but hey! I am glad I am not the only one who it had to grow on
I disagree. This album is in the eights without a doubt and high eighty's at that. The lyrics are superb, guitars are crisp and album flows very well. McDonald's vocals shine more than ever before. Great album.