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Only Crime - Virulence (Cover Artwork)

Only Crime

Only Crime: VirulenceVirulence (2007)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: pwfanatic37pwfanatic37
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I'm still convinced that on paper, Only Crime is one of the greatest supergroups in existence. But whether or not it is still considered a supergroup is open to discussion. Only Crime seemed like an actual band on To the Nines, not just some collective of musicians for a one-time affair. The new .
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I'm still convinced that on paper, Only Crime is one of the greatest supergroups in existence. But whether or not it is still considered a supergroup is open to discussion. Only Crime seemed like an actual band on To the Nines, not just some collective of musicians for a one-time affair.

The new album Virulence showcases an even higher bond of melodic hardcore than before. The album starts off with a fury in "Take Me," a vicious combination of harmonious vocals and guitars perfectly mirrored against disjointed distortion and speed. It is fast, politically and sociologically smart, and dear me is it punk. More so than the last album, Virulence oozes a punk mentality, whatever that may be. But it does so in a way that reminds you why the genre, when done right, will always remain relevant in the musical world.

The hardcore roots of all the members in the band come through much more this time around. There are more screams and howls from the peanut gallery, more breakdowns, more guitars, more everything. When Only Crime gets heavy, it gets real heavy, almost uncomfortably heavy. But it is also done so in a smart way -- not some meatheaded mosh riff breakdown, but a way that fits the intelligent lyrical overtones of Virulence.

Once again though, Only Crime goes the route of a couple songs being completely infused to the core with pop-punk melodies. "Shotgun," a very catchy song, almost feels out of place, especially when set up against the musical intensity of the opening track. It is nice to see that Only Crime can hit this musical diversity on the album, but the melodies on "Shotgun" are a bit too much at times. And putting this song on the same album with tracks such as "Xanthology" that are led by oddly-timed guitar riffs screeching and wailing all over the place just seems a bit weird.

Virulence is a damn fine record, but it is also a damn fine record that I am afraid will be quite forgettable in the long run. I loved To the Nines, but when it came time to do my top 10 of the year, it was nowhere near the list. As good as Only Crime is when it comes to the realm of melodic hardcore, there is only so much you can do within the genre's constraints. Virulence covers it all and showcases why Only Crime is one of the best, but in the end, it is really nothing new -- not that that is a bad thing all together. The band is just doing what they know, and they are doing a very good job at that.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteOnly Crime - To The NinesAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesNOFX - Punk In DrublicBad Religion - SufferA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerA Wilhelm Scream - Mute PrintRefused - The Shape of Punk to Come

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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.
SilentStorms (January 29, 2007)

I'm my own editor:
"For someone who's never heard this band, shouldn't you include who is in this band and why that is percieved to be a supergroup(?) Although I'm not sure I want to know because I never really liked Good Riddance. Enter blazing onslaught. Other th(a)n that, great review.

Score is for my own incompetance.

SilentStorms (January 29, 2007)

For someone who's never heard this band, shouldn't you include who is in this band and why that is percieved to be a supergroup. Although I'm not sure I want to know because I never really liked Good Riddance. Enter blazing onslaught. Other then that, great review.

Anonymous (January 28, 2007)

this band really brings back that 80's hardcore sound!

greenerton (January 25, 2007)

"Shotgun" sounds like it should be a descendents song, except it doesn't sound half as good as the descendents

good band when they're playing hardcore...this seems like one of those bands whose parts are far more than the sum...they just don't mesh

album's kinda boring to be honest : "to the nines" was a lot better

ashtraymonument (January 25, 2007)

seein em tomorrow with disaster squad woot

Anonymous (January 24, 2007)

Great record.

Anonymous (January 24, 2007)

"Good album....but I really think they need to make an album of full on hardcore....zero melody. Despite Russ's lacking live performance, on record he has the perfect voice and could make a great all-hardcore record (Operation Pheonix is a good example, the best GR album and the best album Russ has ever sang on)."

This could have come from my own mouth. I agree with everything said here, but I will add that although Russ might lack a live performance, some of my favourite shows I've been to are GR shows.

rkl (January 24, 2007)

very nice. i like.

almostpunkenough (January 24, 2007)

great great stuff here, but like others have said, i have to hold it to a higher standrad because of the members.

i expect flawlessness next time.

LeightonESmith (January 23, 2007)

I thought it was ok. Its not really breaking down any walls and it sounds very good riddancy. Still, its solid. 2007 could have started worse.

punk_rawk_show (January 23, 2007)

first time ive ever lisnted to only crime, but i really like them

Godfather (January 23, 2007)

I really think they need to make an album of full on hardcore

yep

BrandonSideleau (January 23, 2007)

The "live" criticisms are not aimed at the band for not playing well or anything liek that....they sound great and play beautifully. The problem lies in the energy and intensity department. You'd expect Russ to be an intense and physical frontman, especially given the intensity of his vocals.....but he usually just stands around.

badmouth (January 23, 2007)

Only Crime is great live they hit all their weird background vocals parts perfect even

Ven89 (January 23, 2007)

I don't know about that, I like some of the melodic touches, but the pop-punk songs can go. Maybe they could make an ep for them.

I still say that Only Crime is great live, but no one seems to agree with me.

BrandonSideleau (January 23, 2007)

Good album....but I really think they need to make an album of full on hardcore....zero melody. Despite Russ's lacking live performance, on record he has the perfect voice and could make a great all-hardcore record (Operation Pheonix is a good example, the best GR album and the best album Russ has ever sang on).

Ven89 (January 23, 2007)

I like this album a lot, but the poppier songs bug me a little bit. Still, great album, better than To The Nines I would say.

thirtyseconds (January 23, 2007)

Yeah I absolutely LOVE this album, but I'm massively frustrated still. I think this is about a tenth as good as it should be. So much potential.

Anonymous (January 23, 2007)

BIG fan of ALL/descendents/black flag and bane/converge, but this sounds way too much like good riddance. i heard a good quote about the first album that sums it up pretty well: "hey, this really average punk band has great drumming".

not-to-regret (January 23, 2007)

Good review, i'll check it out. But it will probably sink into low rotation. To the Nines currently gets played once every 4-6 months.

trailerparkjesus (January 23, 2007)

I loved the review.. I could definitely see you being on staff..

Anonymous (January 23, 2007)

gotta love the Hagfish brothers. I heard this album over 6 months ago at a Mag 7 show. fucking rules.

Anonymous (January 23, 2007)

hands down better and more focused than to the nines, no bullshit punk, and good to skate to as well-oldpunker-

Anonymous (January 23, 2007)

good riddance circa 97 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

punkengineer (January 23, 2007)

Love Only Crime and this album, but all your points are pretty valid. To The Nines is still in my listening rotation so we'll have to see about this one.

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