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Only Crime

Virulence

(Fat Wreck Chords; US: 23 Jan 2007; UK: 29 Jan 2007)

With Virulence, Only Crime tread the same ground as their first LP, To the Nines, and this quick punk-rock punch of a record starts strongly enough.  The first three tracks—“Take Me”, “Everything for You”, and “Shotgun”—are the best here.  They’re energetic and catchy, with enough anger in Russ Rankin’s voice to draw the listener in.  Unfortunately, the band seems to tire as Virulence goes on.  The catchy choruses start to sound the same, Rankin loses some edge to his growl, and even Bill Stevenson’s great drumming can’t stop it all from sounding the same.  “This Is Wretched”, the lone attempt at variety, slows things down as it trudges along and comes across more dull than melodic.  These punks are trying to age well, and they have their moments on the new record, but for the most part these guys sound a little wiped out.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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