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The Classic Crime
The Silver Cord
Tooth & Nail Records
www.theclassiccrime.com


Finding a band that you truly love is one thing, but finding a band that you truly love each and every one of their albums is really rare. I found that affection in the band The Classic Crime. Each of their albums has been a masterpiece all its own. Their debut release Albatross has been out on the market for about two years and has yet to leave my car. So, with an acoustic EP (Seattle Sessions) under their belt, the band heads back to the alternative sound with the third installment from the Crime: The Silver Cord.

I would love the opportunity to sit down with Matt (lead vocals) and figure out from what part of his brain the image for this album artwork came from. This is one of those CDs that truly deserve to be called art. And it's not just from the front cover; the music itself is a Monet in the scene of today. It may not make sense at first, but if you really listen, you'll see how amazing it can be. "Just A Man" begins the colorful journey. The lyrics speak of a distraught man, almost begging for forgiveness from the one he loves, with the reasoning of "I'm just a man." It's not really an angry song, more rather a chaotic song. It glides in at the beginning, but then rages out at the end; everything in the middle is insane, especially the precision guitar work. "Grave Digging" would make the best riot song. The synchronized "hey" chants at the beginning help to get the blood flowing. There is absolutely no way to sit still while listening to this song. Matt really shows a new side with an almost metal yell, popping up mid-song. However, the lead guitar solo that follows is incredible, straight out of an 80's or 90's classic rock album. It may only last for a few seconds, but it's enough to make you want to rewind the song. I can't quite make out exactly what the lyrics are saying, but with that energy it really doesn't matter. The metal yell ends the song, but this time it seems fitting.

"The Way That You Are" has the type of sound that would please die-hard fans of Albatross. It's a bit mellower than the previous songs. Not to say this song is slow, [it] just has a different feeling. There is an element that is new to me and possibly the band. Right before the chorus leads in there is a distinct bass riff or perhaps drum beat; it's set so loud in the song that it seems like it's shaking the speakers on which it was recorded. This little sound element adds excitement. When I first heard it, I was listening to the record on my computer. But afterwards, I was inexplicably drawn to my car and the better/louder speakers. It makes you want to crank it up as loud as possible, so as to actually get that speaker shaking experience. The tempo slows down even more with "Salt In The Snow." This is one of those songs that lowers the instruments and allows you to really take in exactly what Matt is singing about. I'm not sure if I'd really call this a love ballad, because a love ballad wouldn't have the cymbals working overtime. No, it's more a very strong and powerful proclamation. What I do love about it is it quiets down, just as though it were ending. But it's not done! You still get another minute of song; very sneaky.

With the constant discussion going of "Christian" vs. "not Christian", I have to say I was surprised to run across a song titled "God And Drugs." However this song is far from any church hymn. It's not exactly anything specific, except for a great song. There is some cleverly placed drama that ensues in the latter part of the song. A subtle hint of guitar and drums gradually increase in intensity as Matt repeats "you won't go away." It's eerie and dark, but not in a bad way. One of my favorite songs on the album is "Medisin." The alternate spelling causes curiosity without even hearing a second of the song. Its starts out very simple, basic guitar notes and non-complex drum beats. This song goes along with the dark feeling set up by the previous song. This time it's prefaced more by the tone of the lyrics. They talk of a fed-up man, fed-up with life and society. Though the fact that the chorus repeats "I know there's more to life than drinking," leads you to believe that perhaps all is not lost. "The Ascent" is beautiful. Purely instrumental and absolutely incredible. The album ends just the way is began: backwards. The first song was "The End" and the last is "The Beginning." It's a refreshing way to do an album. It's like they're reminding us that the end is not actually the end, but a new beginning. The tone and lyrics are encouraging, up-lifting and light. This is the kind of sound I came to love the first time I was introduced to Matt and the guys.

This album is fantastic. It goes nicely in line with the rest of the amazing work The Classic Crime has put out. I will never miss an opportunity to see these guys live and neither should you. This is an absolute must for any music library.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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