# 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 - Virulence

  by Alex Halls

published: 5 / 4 / 2007

Only Crime - Virulence
Label: Fat Wreck
Format: CD


Excellent experimental melodic hardcore on second album from punk supergroup Only Crime, which builds on the quality of its predecessore, the much acclaimed 'To the Nines'

Only Crime hit the alternative scene in 2004, with their highly acclaimed debut, 'To the Nines'. Billed as an experimental album, 'To the Nines' undoubtedly delivered exactly that. Three years later and 'Virulence' builds comfortably on that effort, surpassing the quality of its predecessor: a task that never appeared easy, but one completed in style. Only Crime must have had enough of reviews pointing to the members’ previous bands, even if no harm has been done by riding on that recognition. It’s therefore time to put the past behind and concentrate on the entity and phenomenon that is Only Crime. It’s incredible how three years can pass so quickly, as 'To the Nines' still feels fresh: even now it hasn’t come to its end. Will 'Virulence' follow suit? Tough question! Whilst 'Virulence' is ultimately different to the debut record, the same character and sense of quality is abundant, but music reviewers can be fickle people, indeed hard to please. Criticism for this album has been attracted due to the genre’s constraints, yet it’s clear Only Crime are a cut above the rest. There are indeed very few bands in the melodic hardcore genre who can muster the same level of energy and, most notably, manage it in such an accessible way. Carrying through the discord from 'To the Nines', in tracks such as 'Eye of the World' and 'This is Wretched', Only Crime exhibit true pedigree. The faultless musicianship and Russ Rankin's distinctive and exceptional vocals truly hit home how effective the band can be when they get it right. The twelve tracks are over in much less than a half hour, which is a little, if not quite a bit, disappointing given the quality of the musicians. It’s dangerous to add sub-standard tracks; therefore the decision to limit the album might be taken to be a welcome one. Only Crime’s fans, however, won’t be totally convinced. The catchier moments on 'Virulence' might not appeal to all, but there also exists an antagonism, much driven by the title, which indicates Russ’ frustrations with society, amongst other things. Only Crime are much closer to punk than ever before but retain every element of that melodic hardcore that made the debut outstanding. Whether 'Virulence' makes as frequent an appearance in the record player as did its predecessor remains to be seen. Its shelf-life is likely to be shorter but its immediate impact is just as great. This release is truly exceptional and sets the standard for others to follow this year. In each of its members, Only Crime holds an incomparable element to success: 'Virulence' clearly represents that.

Track Listing:-
1 Take Me
2 Everything for You
3 Shotgun
4 Eyes of the World
5 Now's the Time
6 In Your Eyes
7 Just Us
8 There's a Moment
9 This Is Wretched
10 Too Loose
11 Framed Then Failed
12 Xanthology

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