# 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

Turn to Crime - Can't Love

  by Adrian Janes

published: 14 / 7 / 2014

Turn to Crime - Can't Love
Label: Mugg and Bopp
Format: CD


Repetitive but fervent avant-garde rock on debut album from Detroit-based group, Turn To Crime

The debut album of Detroit’s Turn To Crime is a curious mixture of elements, yet is often a compelling listen. On the title track, drums which sound like faraway explosions support teasing guitar and powerful descending bass runs, while Derek Stanton’s weatherbeaten drawl (“I don’t want good times/I don’t like sunshine”) describes disenchantment not just with love, but life. Implicitly, and to some extent melodically, it complements the closer, ‘I Can’t Not Love’. But the latter is an instrumental whose motorik beat and fuzzed, intertwined guitars create a rousing, at points almost anthemic feel. Its main fault is a lack of development of the core ideas, good though these are. This is something common to several tracks, despite the variations in style. The general lack of such features as bridges or solos ultimately makes the songs somewhat repetitive, either stuck on the same level or circling continuously back on themselves. After ‘Can’t Love’ the mood is at once lifted by the jaunty, mid-paced ‘Sunday’s Cool’, its hook a limpid echoed guitar phrase, and the touching ‘Pine Box’, the guitar line like something from a ‘50’s rock and roll ballad, but set against gentle electronic percussion and subtle organ, like a lament from the age of Sputnik. It’s followed by arguably the best track, ‘Forgiveness’. How much its theme comes from Christian or religious sentiment I can’t say (although one line does sound like “Put your faith in God”), but Stanton’s vocals are at their most fervent and Dylan-esque, evoking (without the dogma) the passion of Dylan’s ‘Born Again’ albums like ‘Slow Train Coming’. At the same time, the guitar twang and lo-fi drums (hovered over by some lovely light guitar notes) recall early Sonic Youth, if they’d tried to play Country and Western instead of avant-rock. The brief pounding conclusion makes clear the Youthful influence, and is none the worse for it. ‘Nightmares’ is the most outlandish contribution, its shuffling rhythm, fierce fuzz guitar and all-but-buried vocals reminiscent of a Can jam. In parts the band hit quite a good groove (and Stanton’s guitar is always worth hearing). However, of a 37 minute album ‘Nightmares’, along with ‘I Can’t Not Love’, constitutes half its length - the problem of repetition hinted at above is unfortunately amplified by this track’s self-indulgence. But it would be wrong to end on a too critical note. Within the confines of a trio and a fairly basic production, Stanton and bandmates Ian Saylor & Dorian Foerg create a group of varied, well-played tracks. (Different guitar tunings were deliberately used on each one.) It’s not surprising to learn that he was once of the band Awesome Color, who released several albums on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. Though taking their own road, Turn To Crime share the exploratory attitude of Sonic Youth, an attitude growing out of a knowledgeable love of rock and pop, but striving to push towards somewhere fresh.

Track Listing:-
2 Can't Love
3 Sunday's Cool
4 Pine Box
5 Forgiveness
6 Nightmares
7 I Can't Not Love

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