Only Crime - To The Nines (Cover Artwork)

Only Crime

Only Crime: To The NinesTo The Nines (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: pwfanaticpwfanatic
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When I first read about Only Crime, my lower jaw instantly broke off and fell on the floor. After I fully recovered, I came home and checked the mail, and the album instantly burst forth out of its own super group power and knocked me flat on my ass and proceeded to do so for the next half hour. I.
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When I first read about Only Crime, my lower jaw instantly broke off and fell on the floor. After I fully recovered, I came home and checked the mail, and the album instantly burst forth out of its own super group power and knocked me flat on my ass and proceeded to do so for the next half hour. I mean, here we have Russ Rankin (Good Riddance), Aaron Dalbec (Bane/Converge), Zach and Doni Blair (Hagfish/Gwar ), and Bill Stevenson (Black Flag/Descendents) all in one group. Being way too big a fan of both Good Riddance and Bane, I found that the only way the album could fail was by falling short of the insanely high standards I had set upon it.

"To the Nines" sets it tone with the first noise, a collective barbaric yell. "R.J.R." is a pretty good indicator of the rest to come. The obvious comparisons to Good Riddance exist beyond the fact that they share the same lead singer. For the most part, Only Crime tends to sound like a harder Good Riddance with an extra guitar. However, it is much more than just a simple write off than that. Songs like "Doomsday Breach" are finer examples of hardcore punk to come out in a while. They got the angry and guttural backing vocals that harshly scream "We rise!" and then a couple seconds later manage to somehow hold a melody. The breakdown towards the end of the song holds a hardcore/metal edge to the guitars before furiously breaking back into some good old melodic hardcore.

Perhaps the hardest song is the title track with is chalk full of little guitar hooks thrown underneath Russ's scratchy vocals. The song's guitars and bass have a definite hardcore feel to them, but the song is still organized with more of a faster punk edge to it. Halfway through the song the true genius of the dual guitars is revealed in what is no more than a very Good Riddance sound with an extra guitar thrown in. In the end, it works out way too well for its own good. After this little melodic hardcore interlude, Only Crime is back in hardcore mode with what is basically just a power mosh riff. Nothing complex and it comes very suddenly, almost unexpectedly. And just as quickly, it is back into pure punk form accompanied by an awesome drum outro courtesy of Bill Stevenson.

The song "Virus" seems nothing more than an excuse for an incredibly outro that constantly deteriorating on itself. It starts out heavy, but then starts to die out just as quickly. The guitars are coming from all over, random screaming/ranting echoes ever so softly, and once again, Bill Stevenson is taking center stage. Yet, in the end, it still works. Some songs do not follow this melodic hardcore punk edge, mainly the second track "Sedated" which almost seems out of place, especially considering the drastic sound change from the first track. It is a poppier very Good Riddance-esque song. Although it is still enjoyable, it sticks out and would belong better more as a bonus track.

Now, as much as I ranted and raved about how great this album is, it really only fell short on one account. It really isn't anything that new. I guess that is my own fault for figuring that this band could truly change the world or something, but in the end, it is just pure awesomeness in the form of melodic hardcore punk. For fans of anyone of either melodic, hardcore, or punk, should drop everything and check this band out. Now I will sit back and patiently wait for that tour with Bane to take place.


People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteBad Religion - SufferRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeNOFX - The DeclineOnly Crime - VirulenceA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerStrike Anywhere - Dead FM

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eastern_waste (July 12, 2006)

at times i thought it was fuckin milo, really good album

MichaelJayMarfans (June 20, 2006)

Ballads from the revolution was better

Anonymous (April 22, 2006)

wow this is awesome the singer from good riddance manages to sound like a pissed off version of milo at times which is awesome

Anonymous (July 8, 2005)

Kjøp. Buy. Verkaufen. No. Now. Jetzt

Anonymous (June 4, 2005)

Great review. This album is almost perfect, they got the hardcore/melody levels spot on...if you get me.

bloofy (December 2, 2004)

A bit more melody and a bit less hardcore than I had expected. Still, a solid album.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

you'd think that such talented guys could come up with something a tad more original than this.....oh yeah russ sounds the same as always

jonodeath (October 6, 2004)

I was so excited to hear the Russ finally had something to do besides Good Riddance, considering they barely ever tour and I have a feelign they won't for a while.

To The Nines has some hardcore/experimental timing songs that are really awesome, then out of nowhere, they have some of the catchiest songs i've ever heard, like "The Well" which i'm suprised no one has mentioned yet. "Fallen Idols" is a really good closer for the cd too.

I like how this CD can appeal to more than just one genre fans.

Downsides: Too short

FAsterBikes (August 30, 2004)

i think that russ made this band to get out of the routine of in play in good riddance...only crime are pretty good, but i hope that russ will never quit good riddance for this new band...they don't came in titaly since 3 years....fuck

Anonymous (August 19, 2004)

This is a great album from a group of really talented guys.

Yes, it sounds like Good Riddance. Sure, you could say it's GR doing some Black Flag covers, who cares? GR do a great version of "My War".

Quit yer bitchin', and get this. Now.

Anonymous (August 10, 2004)

My Band I Bleed Scarlet opened up for these guys on their first show at the Starlight theater in Ft. Collins, Colorado. They are very aggressive live, and I think they have a great sound. Plus, I hung out with them all after the show, and they are all really nice guys, espcially Bill.

Anonymous (July 28, 2004)

I reviewed this album at breakingcustom.com and said a lot of the same things..go check it out. And yes, it is maybe just a little too short, but that's life.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

I also think real enemy is a great track. Tennebrae also.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

To end the argument here it is- Black Flag's best album was Damaged- because of Greg Ginn's lyrics and Henry's uncontrollable rage....if you listen to the Dez versions of the Damaged tracks (they are all included on EWB) and compare them to Henry's...Dez doesn't even come close. Not to mention In My Head and Slip It In are two the most inventive and exciting punk-noise albums ever created. I think that settles it.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

To the person below me:

You are a fucking moron.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

This is a great album

And to throw my 2 cents in about the Black Flag argument. None of the early flag material would have ever gotten popular if it wasn't for Rollins. Rollins made the band what they are and then they reissued all of the back catalog that was either out of print or not cared about. SO disputing who was the better singer isn't whats really important the part that is more important is the fact that with out Hank 'the first four years' wouldn't have ever sold.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

This cd sounded exactly like I thought it would sound. But I agree with the person who said Good Riddance should have recorded this cd. The two guitars doesn't make any difference because half of GR's songs are dubbed to make the sound of two guitars at once.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

yeah, GR used to be one of my favorite bands but live russ just is not there seems like routine for him. There still a good band though, How's their latest album still haven't heard it yet"

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

I agree with this review mostly. I just saw these guys w/ hope conspiracy and stretch arm strong (excellent show by the way). the album isnt bad, its just not anything groundbreaking. it sounds EXACTLY like Good Riddance, which certianly isnt bad, but dont expect it to be the hardcore album to save the world. very well done lighter hardcore, thats about it.

BSD (July 26, 2004)

I don't know I heard some songs... Some are okay, but "Sedated" sounds like something from alternative radio. That song sucks so hard.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

The mp3's I've heard are frickin tops. And I was fortunate enough for the first (hopefully not the last) time to see Good Riddance play a month ago in Welly NZ woop woop. Russ may not have the most amazing stage presence but his vocals were amazing. He reproduced the sound he had on each of their record's.

After all thats what he is, a musician not some guy doing long jump.

Love Red

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

I don't think they were bagging on russ for not being energetic.... It's more that his stage presence isn't menacing or violent, the way some of the music sounds. I love gr and russ, but i believe thats what we were getting at. Fucking cap locks

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

What's with all the hate on Russ? Maybe the crowds just sucked...Whenever Good Riddance played in the LA/OC area, the crowds always went off, and it seemed to energize Russ. One specific time I remember was when GR played at Chain Reaction in Anaheim in December of 2001. That was one of the most memorable shows of my life. The crowd was insane, Russ kept jumping in the crowd, people stage diving all over the place...So yeah, I'm just rambling now, but I felt that I had to defend Russ a little bit from all the negativity. This record, along with all of the GR releases, is a good listen. I am partial, however, to A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Rebellion. That record is the shit.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

I don't know....i love russ on his albums....he sounds like an intense and physical singer....but the live shows that ive seen are quite the opposite....it's a shame it doesnt compliment the music....some of the songs on Operation Pheonix are almost in "Damaged" territory.....which is an almost impossible feat.....but live they just don't come off like they should.

Cos (July 24, 2004)

Russ is truely a boring frontman. Granted, its probably pretty hard to keep up the energy for 30-45 minutes of hardcore, especially when you're as old as Russ is, but still, yawn.

The record sounds cool though. i'll check it.

Fuzzy (July 24, 2004)

Rollins live show with the Rollins band is fucking bananas. I've been going to shows for nearly 10 years now, and never seen anyone that could match his fucking intensity. He's truly a man with some anger inside.

ps: I knew you were 16 somehow.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

"but when all is said and done none of the singers could hold a candle to Rollins' live performance."

I'm 16, so I'll never know, anyway. All I know is that Keith's unreleased shit combined with the Nervous Breakdown EP can be listened to over and over again. Rollin's voice is weak to me, second worst only to Dez.


ElVaquero (July 24, 2004)

proof reading is a truly great thing sometimes. like that time right before this got sent in. YEAH.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat album. However, did anyone else think it was just a bit too short???

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Great CD......Operation Pheonix is still the best Russ Rankin album......but I like this....could have been a bit harder and less melodic.....not that it's a bad thing.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

To BSD....everyone has their opinion.....and the argument is eternal.....but when all is said and done none of the singers could hold a candle to Rollins' live performance.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Not to mention that their "supergroup" status is pretty bullshitty seeing as:
-Their drummer brings the Descendents/Black Flag together, and a drummer doens't influence a band enough for that to work.
-Aaron Dalbec is in both Bane and Converge. 2 for 1 again.
-Hagfish and Gwar are both real shitty, so who cares what those dudes' names are.

I saw this band the other day. Let me mention that Russ Rankin is lame live, and they're boring as shit.

Maybe this band would be better if they did something of any significance. Something that stood out. Something that wasn't a small variance from Good Riddance.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

This CD is terrible. This band is terrible. I'd rather be hearing another Bane than another Good Riddance. Funny how punk singers can have multiple bands but they all sound the same.

_911 (July 24, 2004)

this cd is orgasmic! only if good riddance's last 2 were this good.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

yeah the review posted is much better.

BizzleBrizzle (July 24, 2004)

Actually, I'm just gonna post it up here:

When I first heard of Only Crime I flipped out, I knew it would be awesome, it had to be, it has current/ex members of Good Riddance, Bane, Converge, All, Descendents, Black Flag, Gwar and Hagfish.

I love Good Riddance
I love Bane
I love Converge
I love All
I love Descendents
I love Black Flag
I think Gwar is funny
I've never heard of Hagfish

7/8 is pretty good eh?

So to get this CD I went to every fucking place that was near-by, finally giving up on them I go to the really good local indie-record store Shake-It and it was a quick in quick out getting this.

I think about a total of 6 Only Crime MP3s have been let out from their Demos/This CD by Only Crime and Fat Wreck, so to say the CD blew me away is a lie...I had heard what they sounded like, I knew what I was in for, but I knew it would be awesome. They didn't dissapoint.

To sum up the CD it's what I had hoped the new Bad Religion CD would sound like... I tend to find a lot of similarities between Good Riddance and Bad Religion, and with the second guitar added the similarities are more evident. I'm not good with musical terms so I'm not gonna fall on my face trying to explain the similarities. Other bands that come to mind besides Bad Religion and Good Riddance are Bane, Black Flag, and on "On Time", track ten, towards the end there's a part where it sounds dead on AFI.

The song "The Well" is quite a good poppier song, and reminds me a bit of the demo song they released that did not make this CD, "Just Us".

BizzleBrizzle (July 24, 2004)

This is a one for not posting my review, I gave the cd a nine

pastepunk (July 24, 2004)

"I must say though, "anything not that new" doesn't really deserve a 9, does it?"

- I would argue that certain bands just play familar sounds with more intensity than others. I don't think anyone was really expecting this project, or anything with Russ on vocals to be novel.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

from what i understand a few of the songs were songs that bill wrote for black flag that never got used. the demo was amazing i can't wait to hear the full length

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

I still wonder why "Just Us" isn't on that album... IMO it's their best song together with "Real Enemy". :/

BSD (July 24, 2004)

Rollins wasn't the best vocalist

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

To BSD.....I'd actually prefer a Rollins/Ginn collaboration...now that would be a ten.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Hey do what you want, but don??t do it around me.
Idleness and dissipation breed apathy.
I sit on my ass all goddamn day,
A misanthropic anthropoid with nothing to
Say what you must, do all you can,
Break all the fucking rules and
Go to hell with superman and
Die like a champion, yeah hey!
Hey I don??t know if the billions will survive,
But I??ll believe in God when 1 and 1 are 5.
My moniker is man and I??m rotten to the core.
I??ll tear down the building just to pass through the door.
So do what you must, do all you can,
Break all the fucking rules and
Go to hell with superman and
Die like a champion, yeah hey!

i agree with this review 100%.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

If Greg Ginn reformed Black Flag with Keith Morriss, Chuck D., and Robo, and recorded an album of material similar to the Nervous Breakdown EP, I gurantee it would get a 10.


gladimnotemo (July 24, 2004)

FINALLY. Someone posts a review. Geez.

I must say though, "anything not that new" doesn't really deserve a 9, does it?

dazed (July 24, 2004)

This is as good as the best of Good Riddance (one of my favorite bands); the second guitar and Black Flag influence really complement Russ' vocals.

This is the album Good Riddance should have made after "Symptoms of a Leveling Spirit"

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Its good, but Operation Phoenix was the best thing Russ ever did! I wish this album was more like that!

notfeelingcreative (July 24, 2004)

This is the record Good Riddance should have made after "Ballads from the revolution"!

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Good review, good album. I still maintain, however, that Good Riddance should have recorded this.


BSD (July 24, 2004)

Shit sounds dope.

Better than Bane at least

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