Crimen - Silent Animals

by Tim Sentz Rating:6 Release Date:2018-06-29
Crimen - Silent Animals
Crimen - Silent Animals

Most of the releases under the UK-based Fuzz Club Records focus on the subgenres of rock that get little attention and fanfare. Noise rock, post-punk, psychedelia, and related genres have a niche crowd – devoted, but just like any pool it can get oversaturated. On the plus side, it gives exposure to fresh faces and sounds that a listener wouldn’t typically be exposed to.

The Italian threesome Crimen are releasing their long-gestating debut album Silent Animals this week, via Fuzz Club, and they fit snugly in the classifications listed above. Drawing on influences as wide as the Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre – Crimen would fit neatly on a Psycho Las Vegas lineup for any year. The problem presented unfortunately, is that their sound falls closely to their influences. Whereas APTBS has evolved over time (for better or worse depending on who you ask), Crimen picks up where APTBS left off on their 2012 album Worship.

Straddling the line between shoegaze and post-punk, a hybrid very common with the noise rock bands of today, Crimen flip-flop between all three genres – sometimes all within the same cut. Crimen spent nearly a decade working on this debut, which is felt on tracks like “From My End” which feels like the last decade of noise rock and post-punk and shoegaze all rolled into one – as the bands from that era who churned out faded, dirty, but spritely soundscapes.

Elsewhere on the album, “Hit Mania Death” feels like a Nine Inch Nails “Hesitation Marks” era B-side, and employs a similar repetitive nature like it’s follow-up “Six Weeks.” These aren’t terrible tracks, but they do evoke a sort-of “ho-hum” response when they draw on too long and rarely deviate from start to finish. As a fan of the genre, it’s troubling to hear a new record providing nothing inspiring or even clever. Even the longest track “Left Behind,” though beautifully arranged, seems more like an homage to Anton Newcombe than sole property of Crimen.

Silent Animals isn’t a terrible record though, just one that is a bit of a letdown given how much time it was worked on. There are moments of pure bliss – the six minute “Above the Trees (Rockets)”, with its slow- burning kick-drum anticipates a tremendous crescendo – doesn’t disappoint. “Batilda” is a throwback to Crystal Antlers and is over quickly, providing a brief burst of noise recorded in a hallway.

There’s loads of potential in Crimen, but after such a long time, the end result is less than stellar. Though not without merit, Silent Animals just feels too similar to the bands and classics that came before it, and with no added range or diversity. It’s an okay start, but one that needs more care if Crimen plan to be in this for the long haul.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars