For Fans Of
Only Crime, the modern day fusion of bands like Black Flag and the Descendants, are back with their first album in seven years. The band’s third album to date, ‘Pursuance‘ is a twenty six minute throw back to the old school days of punk rock. With some catchy choruses, typical punk rock structures and instrumentation, and the fact that the group is made up members of some other great bands, the bar is set high. However, it’s not fully reached.
Straight away, ‘We Are Divided‘ really sets the scene for what you’ll be hearing in the coming songs. The fast drumming, buzz saw guitar riffs and the fast flowing nature of the vocals really make this track an ideal starting point. But, it’s some of the following moments that will really grab your attention. ‘In Blood‘ is a notable song. It’s a high-octane anthem, with plenty of guitar hooks throughout it, and huge choruses to match. ‘No Truth In Love‘ is a shorter, darker number and focuses less on societal failings and is the more personal song of the album. Conversely, ‘See It Die‘ is the fastest song on offer. It’s not even two minutes long and just keeps the relentless tempo and pressure up the whole way through.
Like all good punk albums, everything is kept short and sweet. Longest track ‘Absolution‘ is equally best song on the record. Its catchy, yet serious, dark tone of retribution really stands out among the rest. And that lead guitar work, while not revolutionary, suits Only Crime‘s melodic punk rock sound really well.
Song writing abilities aside, Bane guitarist Aaron Dalbec is more or less, playing nearly identical riffs and parts to his work in his normal band. Drummer Bill Stevenson (Descendants), despite getting on in years, still holds everything down well behind the kit. It’s not vastly technical or radical but the drumming is quintessentially punk. While, vocalist Russ Rankin (from Good Riddance) only has one tone and pitch, but hey, it gets the job done!
With each song sounding quite similar in terms of tone, chords, structure and dynamics, all twelve of these tracks bleed together really quickly. Of course, this is a straight up punk album, so one shouldn’t expect to have their musical mind blown right open by it. However, in terms of being a punk rock album, this is a good choice. You could do a lot worse then ‘Pursuance‘.
With most of Only Crime being part of some of punk and hardcore’s biggest bands, expectations are always going to be high. However, instead of a new modern day punk classic, this is a far above average release. Songs like ‘In Blood’ and ‘Absolution’ will really stand out, but everything does sound a little repetitive after a few listens. Ultimately, ‘Pursuance’ is a good punk rock album, but it won’t set the world on fire.
1. We Are Divided
3. In Blood
4. One Last Breath
7. No Truth In Love
8. Find Yourself Alone
9. Life Was Fair
10. See It Die
11. Emptiness and Lies
12. Bred To Fall