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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Crime in Choir
The Hoop
Frenetic Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Listening to Crime in Choir's second full-length album, The Hoop, one is sent on a schizophrenic joyride of elaborate musical schemes. The musical roller coaster is depicted through a mix of your basic drums, bass, and guitar and then increases its forbearing, adding fender Rhodes, horns, and cinematic synth lines to create an aural delusion. Imagine a feeling of pure pleasure before being hit from behind, a blow that quickly turns the joyride into a mangled heap. It's probably a lot like being Steve Moore form the Colorado Avalanches when he was sideswiped by Todd Bertuzzi last month, except Crime in Choir offer no apologies for their violation.

Taking off my the neck brace my initial listen left me in and really swallowed what was going on with The Hoop, I felt the blood vessels in my skeletal muscles widen, creating an exceptional blood flow, allowing my organs to operate to their highest ability do to the increase of oxygen. An adrenaline rush, nonetheless, has been created in acknowledging an all out ambush. My senses have been attacked by the members of Crime in Choir, made up of Kenney Hopper and Jarrett Wrenn (two of the original founding members of At The Drive-In), along with Jesse Reiner, Carson McWhirter, and Jay Pellici. Tim Green from The Fucking Champs, and Zach Hill from Hella, figure in as guest musicians, increasing the delusional and peculiar framework.

The Hoop is more of a conceptual abstract vision than a typical rock album. With no words spoken or lyrics sung, there is an endless array of musical ringing that echoes throughout The Hoop. "Strong Beautiful Suspicious Horse" is an offering of such spectacular musical impulse, complete with a constant keyboard rhythm stacked amongst piles of multiple-instrumentation, swaying back and forth before a breakdown ends its unshaken pattern. Horns enter and end, as do building, sweeping orchestras, in full-dress, calling for the horns (and other unknown sounds) to enter the fray with them. Quietly, a paranoid guitar sequence molds the song after being chased by what came before, but it only enjoys solace in the lead for a moment. Then, again, we besieged by a powerful array of audio madness, a beauty in chaos. And that is just the first song.

The Hoop continues in the same character, slowing down only a bit for "Magnetotail". The band introduces keyboards and sequenced drums, upon which a mesmerizing guitar lays itself in an over-dubbing manner. It is one of the shortest tracks on the album, just over the two-minute mark, and it allows for a slight reprieve before the onslaught of "Hot Slant," a frenzied rock song as big and bad as they come. Speakers rattle as a blazing, effects-soaked guitar threatens violence, teaming up with hard-hitting drums to collectively pound stronger than any other song on the album. Worthy of progressive rock description often reminiscent of King Crimson and Yes, "Where R R Umbrellas" and "Didomonico" forge ahead in their own complex deranged sagas.

Enduring the endless and abundant array of dazzling musical escapades of The Hoop has taken its toll on my mental state. It's draining and breathing life into me at the same time. The observations witnessed throughout The Hoop lead me to believe that there was no way Crime In Choir could continue on to a point from which they could end the charade of insanity in a cohesive, conclusive manner, but in fact they do just that. "In Search of Plunder (Bum Convention)," with it's mathy, complex rhythm, rides the storm out; drums and guitar own the songs introduction, encouraging a faint keyboard drone scantily heard over its frame before it takes off midway. The groundwork of the closing track is less cohesive as far as the arrangements go, but nonetheless, just as frenzied as the rest of its infrastructure.

In all of its frantic glory, The Hoop has torn down the barriers built by the most jilted indie rock artists, showing equal parts of turbulent progressive-rock and sparse soundscapes, with a touch of new wave as garnish. Chrime in Choir have lain the foundation for what could be a temple of new rock, should others have the courage to follow them.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor



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