Crime In Stereo - The Contract (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Crime In Stereo

The Contract (2005)

Blackout! / Brightside

Let's dedicate this moment to sour band-label relationships, because if it wasn't for such, we wouldn't get great little "get out quick" records like Crime In Stereo's newest EP, the very not obilquely titled The Contract, the record that allowed the band to leave Blackout! Records and deservedly make their recent signing to Nitro.

Some seriously refreshing melodic hardcore was the recipe for the band's 2004 debut full-length, Explosives And The Will To Use Them, and here there's an emphasis on the "melodic," but in a really, really good way. While a pretty underwhelming length at around nine minutes long, The Contract does not let up for a second in its four tracks, providing a swell bout of singalong hardcore punk inside of an airtight recording for those a bit alienated by the perhaps too rough edges of Explosives.

The 30-second "Long Song Titles Aren't Cool Anymore Because The Rest Of You Fuckers Are No Good At It" swipes at their "contemporaries" with the sole lyric "I can't believe you kids are still on this eyeliner and 'my girlfriend's dead' shit / what if the biggest part of trends is knowing when to give up on them? / listen: you've got to give it up," and has a breakdown bearing a stronger resemblance to Gorilla Biscuits than ever (production style and gang vocal shouts, even), though it's rather notable here because the rest of the record proves the band are relying more on their melodic punk leanings, with further comparisons to Strike Anywhere more than likely to be drawn.

"Jesus Is My Ride Home" is a nice addition, and the aforementioned "Long Song Titles" a great cut, but it's the opening and closing tracks that really stand out. The former, "New Harlem Shuffle," is a spectacular, upbeat track narrating a reaction to a draft notice, and it's one of the best the band's recorded yet, with the latter, "Sleeping Androids Do Dream Electric Sheep," a supremely anthemic song about life on the road with properly veiled metaphors and poppy harmonies that somehow work within the song amazingly, and a ridiculous hook of "send life support" and catchy as anything guitars to boot.

Crime In Stereo has been one of the top ambassadors for Long Island hardcore the past two years, and The Contract is further proof of such, not to mention providing a surefire contender for anyone remotely nerdy enough to compose a "top 5/10 EPs" list come the end of 2005.

Long Song Titles Aren't Cool Anymore Because The Rest Of You Fuckers Are No Good At It