TV Crimes - Demo (Cover Artwork)

TV Crimes

Demo (2009)


For years, the East Side of Cleveland has had little to boast of in terms of musical accomplishment. The only footnote in the whole scene would be the incredibly embarrassing success of metalcore morons Salt the Wound. Meanwhile, the West Side can proudly claim the Sidekicks, Cheap Tragedies and a dozen other recent projects. Though there's certainly no rivalry between East and West, the demo recently recorded by TV Crimes does even things up a bit.

While the trio is based in Cleveland Heights, the sound is pure D.C. Three of their four original songs are mid-tempo, parsimonious hardcore tunes that revel in sheer volume and intensity. An abundance of hooks and gang vocals emboss certain tracks onto your hippocampus, as is the case on "Stone Statues," the most promising cut on the demo.

While key words like "gang vocals" and "mid-tempo hardcore" might conjure up images of a moronic, Madball-esque band, TV Crimes is anything but: Their demo boasts a surprising amount of pure rock and roll riffage. The opening fretwork on "Freedom from Religion" grabs you by your shirt before frenetic drums knock you on your ass. The song then apologizes with a simple shout-along chorus of "False god!"

The band often relies on sudden, Paint It Black-style shifts in tempo, which typically work marvelously. "What We Need" combusts out of nowhere into a frenzy that subsides as quickly as it emerged, only to end in a torrent of gang vocals that beg "Set me free!"

While three of the tracks are hook-heavy hardcore fare, "Regrets" already marks some impressive development for the group. Clocking in at nearly three-and-a-half minutes, it sounds like an early Fugazi number, willfully restrained yet simultaneously urgent. It's also a prime setting for the vocalist's impassioned shouting, which is as strong as it is emotive. The songs benefit endlessly from such a confident, finely-tuned vocal delivery. Though they're young, TV Crimes comprehends perfectly what it takes to create a memorable, invigorating song. They seem intent on compensating for all the hooks that hardcore has missed out on, and this trait already defines them. Their flaws are few and hard to find even on this demo. These four songs were made for mass sing-alongs, no matter what side of the river you're from.