Crime Revenge - Crime Revenge [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Crime Revenge

Crime Revenge [EP] (2020)


Crime Revenge are a melting pot of Texas based punk musicians, so it was no wonder that upon their release of the new Self Titled EP, I started hearing a lot of buzz. While street punk may not be my go-to genre, it's hard to ignore a group that could easily be labeled as a “Texas Super Group” of Punks. With members of Gen Why, Sniper 66, and Drug Shock, all supported by the multi-band phenom April Schupman (member of Sniper 66, Fight Plan, Lizzie Boredom, OC45, and Bad Co. Project as well as ex-member of Starving Wolves) on the drum kit. Schupman’s drumming is comparable to any of the great punk drummers, and knowing she was a part of the project, immediately made me interested.

The record starts with the banger “Fight or Flight”, a fast savage track that belts out fast screamed lyrics, over the top of a decent melody, with a familiar breakdown during the hook. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve heard that breakdown a thousand times, which made the middle parts of the song a bit predictable and forgettable, but the band quickly responds with a rager of a second track “No Change”. April’s drumming on this track proves she’s a force to be reckoned with, and the simple, yet catchy hook bridges the gap between often unintelligible street punk screaming to a full on sing-along. The guitars were nothing special, or I was too focused on the drumming, but what did stand out was the dual vocalists throughout the verses. It allowed for the lyrics to be fired out like a machine gun; as one vocalist ended their line, the other had already begun, giving the illusion that this already fast song was even faster. Despite being a fairly straightforward street punk band, little choices like this set them apart from the ten million punk bands who just jump on stage, play fast and out of tune, and scream, so it was a very welcomed choice made by the band.

Track 3 is another fast, typical street punk song. Its not bad, but also not great. Definitely a filler track for the album, but as soon as it ends, track 4 “It’s up to you” blasts into your ear drums. The opening guitar was a welcome change from the constant barrage of speed punk, and the lyrics, though slightly distorted, showed that their song writing is capable of more than just nonsense punk to mosh to. Of course, Ape’s drumming is the highlight, and really shines about three quarters of the way through when the song has this clever breakdown, but right behind the drumming, was the bass line. It wasn’t the easiest to make out, with loud guitar, and screaming vocals, but when I caught it, I couldn’t help but saying, “Damn, that’s good.”

“Freedom Squared” would have been yet another track that blended in, until about half way through there was a breakdown which allowed for the vocalist to do a half scream half spoken word pieced, that really allowed for the song to break the mold that these guys had created with their repetitive placement of similar three chord punk tunes, played super fast, with matching lyrics. Other than the intro on “My Vengeance”, which slowed things down, momentarily, the final track is yet another Street Punk anthem, that fits the same mold they’ve provided throughout the album.

Now, it may seem some of my viewpoints were slightly harsh, with my repeated observation that save some small differences, every song sounds pretty much the same, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an enjoyable album. I mean, Strung Out have albums where every song sounds pretty similar, but the album is still decent, and that’s where I’d rank this album: decenet. The talent with the musicians is clearly there, but the album felt repetitive and slightly uninspired. I don’t know if that is because you’ve got all of these great musicians coming in, used to leading their own groups, causing a clashing in the creative process, but I know the members of this band are far better than the songs that were written. If you like fast, rocking old school Strung Out or Good Riddance or US Bombs, you’re going to enjoy this album, but for me, I wanted more. Being this is a representation of my hometown, and bands that I have championed for years, I was expecting to be blown away, and perhaps that is skewing my view of this record. I know this band cand do great things, but this man’s opinion is that they need to take more time in the creative stage of their song writing, and bring to the table some complexity and variation, as I KNOW they are more than capable of doing so.