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The Classic Crime - The Silver Cord
(Tooth & Nail)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Dec. 22, 2008
The Classic Crime

Review by Andy Argyrakis

After 2006's Albatross became the fastest selling debut disc in Tooth & Nail's history, The Classic Crime turned in the acoustic EP Seattle Sessions a year later. Though both discs demonstrated the band's competency in both driving alterative rock and stripped back contexts, it sent fans guessing as to what direction might permeate the brand new The Silver Cord. Not only does the collection balance the worlds of searing guitars and introspective moments, but it revolves around a fairly weighty concept without turning pretentious. As singer Matt Macdonald explains, the title is basically a literary metaphor for the connection between life and death, which results in a highly urgent, fifteen-track myriad of epic appeal.

The brooding, unplugged strums of "The End" help transport listeners into the otherworldly contexts of the project that properly begins with the jarring riffs of "Just a Man," wrapped around militant but melodic vocals seeking self-improvement. "Grave Digging" helps advance the disc's theme, but is remarkably lively with its forceful chants and growling guitar onslaught. The lead single "Abracadavers" also marks one of The Classic Crime's most belligerent musical presentations to date that takes cues from the 90s indie/alt-rock scene.

Like most meaningful records from that decade, The Silver Cord is free of click tracks or samples, allowing each instrument to be heard as it was played in the studio and legitimately duplicated in concert. The ballsy "The Way That You Are" and the more reflective momentum builder "Salt In the Snow" are sure to provoke audience participation, while the angular attack of "Sing" possesses one of the group's most gripping choruses to date. Preconceived notions and scenes aside, The Classic Crime turn in a transfixing modern rock record with instrumental intricacy that boldly delivers subjects of substance.

Watch The Classic Crime - "Abracadavers"

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