Crime & The City Solution – American Twilight

As soon as this record started I was reminded of Nick Cave’s growing old disgracefully outfit ‘Grinderman’ pounding beats and cutting guitars join keys, strings and percussion to form a wall of sound. Lead singer Simon Bonney has a voice that sounds like it was cask aged with a Lanegan roughness to it, but it’s on the track ‘The Colonel (Doesn’t Call Anymore)‘ where he bears a striking resemblance to Richard Hawley fronting a kind of Birthday Party/Arcade Fire hybrid. The songs themselves are quite varied but the common theme is noise which I guess you should expect when you realise that the band is made up from members of The Dirty Three, Woven hand, 16 Horsepower and Einsturzende Neubauten. Each of the eight tracks either lifts you with euphoria or hangs around with an uneasy menace ready to hit you again with a wave or a layered blast. Without the lyrics it could be a ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’ album, the drone soundtrack to a never made film, but with Bonney’s words it’s an altogether different beast. Listening to the album you get a real sense of the musicians letting go when the structure gives way to the chaotic but it is tight and the playing is impeccable. Further reading brought to my attention that the band first hit the Australian punk scene in 1977/78 and actually split in 1984. I for one will be delving into their back catalogue while at the same time thanking them for reforming and making ‘American Twilight’ clearly one of the albums of the year.

american twilight

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