# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Only Crime - To The Nines

  by Alex Halls

published: 24 / 7 / 2004

Only Crime - To The Nines
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Format: CD


Powerful debut album from new hardcore punk supergroup, Only Crime, which includes in its line-up Russ Rankin from Good Riddance and Bill Stevenson from the Descendents and Black Flag

With Russ Rankin (Good Riddance) on vocals and Bill Stevenson (Descendents, All, Black Flag) on drums one cannot ignore the talent emanating from this band. Sensing a deceleration in his band’s existence, Rankin wanted to continue his music and, after forming Creep Division with bassists, Chuck Platt (Good Riddance) and Craig Ahead (Sick Of It All), Only Crime was conceived. Rankin brings over the same distinct gravelly voice that we have come to admire in Good Riddance, but this time the synonymous political lyrics have been heavily reduced, now replaced with personal reflection and social observation. Yet Rankin has vowed to retain a level of political diatribe andthis is displayed in title track, 'To The Nine's: “Once upon a time I believed I could change the world, but I was wrong”. After all he is an advocate of getting to know your country better in order to criticise it more deeply. The hardcore elements are plain to see and are matched by a melodious mélange of vocals and guitars in 'Sedated and Fallen Idols'. Aggression has been brought in, setting Only Crime aside as a different entity to Stevenson’s Black Flag, an entity lacking none of the passion or resolve seen in the members’ previous bands. The guitaring is often unexpected, often violent. Playing with efficacy and displaying a tenacity that only experience gives, the band synchronise rolling drumbeats with rousing vocals, expressed with panache and, above all, purpose. The intro to 'Real Enemy' is fantastic, moving from the effective drumming, layering a crescendo of transcendent guitaring before fading out and then kicking into melodic hardcore verses, proving that with Only Crime the song writing is as intelligent as the lyrics: 'To The Nines' is certainly something they should be proud of. Continued throughout the album are the technical mastery, vocal stability and savoir-faire needed to polish off a near ultimate production. A sense of youthful spirit creeps onto the album at times, as if these musicians are reliving the first time they picked up their instruments and dearly hunted that illustrious and often elusive perfect sound; experience has provided just that with an impeccable album, that is without question. Regardless, virtually no album remains unscathed after critique. If you are expecting something revolutionary in this scene then 'To The Nines' unfortunately is no exception to this rule, offering very little new material. Despite this, you’d be hard pushed to find a debut album as good as this but, with such a plethora of talent on offer, it is hardly surprising. It seems a logical progression for the band members involved, letting them experiment with what they know best, changing some of it for the better and introducing a few new tricks. 'To The Nines' is as good as they come in the hardcore scene, providing engaging music and powerful lyrics, and although' Fallen Idols' caps off the album perfectly, it could have done with an extra song.

Track Listing:-
1 R.J.R.
2 Sedated
3 Doomsday Breach
4 Pray for Me
5 To the Nines
6 Real Enemy
7 Tenebrae
8 Virus
9 Well
10 On Time
11 Fallen Idols

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors