Published Feb 20, 2010After the scene shit-stirring sonic departure of 2007's Crime In Stereo Is Dead, the latest full-length from these brainy Long Island hardcore heroes is sure to endear and alienate them even further. With a breakdown-heavy past that still finds mosh-ready kids throwing down at their shows, Crime In Stereo started moving away from their early hardcore leanings with a few slow-moving, deviant tracks on 2006's The Troubled Stateside. I Was Trying is the fully realized rebirth of the band, shedding any pretensions of how a hardcore band from Long Island should sound and creating an epic, genre-defying album in the process. "Queue Moderns" opens the record with distant electronics and a hypnotic melody before exploding into a strange, noisy beast that only lasts seconds before shifting into "Drugwolf," a song that manages to balance a verse that matches Braid's musical prowess with Cursive's panged vocal delivery before exploding into an epic chorus that would make the Killers proud ― if they didn't suck. The rest of the album continues to explore seemingly disparate inspirations, with Silent Majority facing off against Nirvana on songs like "Not Dead" and "Type One." Inside of each song, Crime In Stereo succeed in defining their own sonic identity. This record is awesome.
How much of this record was a result of challenging yourselves to surpass the experimentation of Crime In Stereo Is Dead?
Vocalist Kristian Hallbert: I discovered that I could sing on Dead. Once I had that confidence, it's easy to build on that. Finding it was difficult, but once you have it there are endless possibilities. Halfway through making this record, I was just like, "I can do anything I want with my voice." I went into this record wanting to try everything.
Who do you picture as the audience for Crime In Stereo?
Hallbert: It's a cliché thing to say, but anyone that wants to hear it. We have been a solely DIY touring hardcore band since we started. We've played big shows; we've played small shows; and we've played "rock concerts." We've done so many different things with this hardcore punk rock band that we started years ago that now it's just [for] anyone that cares enough to listen to what we're doing. We've been really lucky and had some great people follow us over the years everywhere we've been. The people that are drawn to it are really drawn to it. It's for anyone who gives a crap. (Bridge Nine)