Crime in Stereo - Is Dead (Cover Artwork)

Crime in Stereo

Is Dead (2007)

Bridge 9

"CRIME IN STEREO IS DEAD." That is all it says against the virtually pitch black background on the quintet's new Bridge 9 release. That ominous album cover can very easily sum up a fair share of attitude towards Is Dead. The melodic hardcore beast Crime in Stereo that everyone knew isn't looking like it used to.

Hardcore, and any of its subgenres, are a safe bet when it comes to a new release. There is only so much that can be done, and when certain bands try to expand the boundaries, they are met with a generally negative reception or the cliché defense of releasing something "way ahead of its time." Is Dead is neither of these. More so, Crime in Stereo has taken a few departures from the gang vocals, speed-influenced riffs and the breakdowns and replaced it with even more melodies, a more accessible sound and a more diverse set of songs. Not to say that Is Dead doesn't have its hardcore moments. "XXXX (The First 1000 Years of Solitude)" plays under warped guitars that suggest desperation relevant to the song title, driven by speed and energy. "…But You Are Vast" take the melodic route reminiscent of much of the material that was on The Troubled Stateside.

Crime in Stereo experiments wildly throughout the album, though. This is no more evident then the distortion-ridden "Unfortunate Tourists," which adopts that oh-so-hard to identify ‘post-hardcore' sound. If you weren't sure what Is Dead entailed, it is right at the beginning of this song that you can officially mark down the death of Crime in Stereo as a strictly melodic hardcore band.

Is Dead is by no means an easy listen the first time around. But that is because Crime in Stereo shatters the preconceived notions of what the new hardcore effort would sound like. The band has flexed its musical chops and the result is something new and something good. For some people, Crime in Stereo Is Dead is as true a statement as they come. For those that are willing to give it a shot, Crime in Stereo looks far from dead -- they're just truly starting.