A good band name is one of the top 3 parts of a musical group that has to work for the band to be good. Part 1 is having vocals that sound good. Part 2 is having those songs played well. And number 3 would be having a name that fits the band just as how the tempos of the instruments must fit the rhythm of the vocals. So when I got the new album Phoenix by the group The Classic Crime I was thinking to myself what a unfitting name for the band. Ok, the name of the band ain’t that important, but I did find it an odd name for a musical group and there’s a lot of bands in the world with odd names.
Not that it really matters in the end because when I listened to the 13 tracks on the album Phoenix I could have cared less if they called themselves The Classic Crime or The Brand Spanking New Crime Lords, the music is what speaks for the band. The band consist of Matt MacDonald singing vocals and playing guitar, Skip Erickson banging out on the drums, Robie Negrin with another guitar, and Alan Clark strumming on the bass. My first impression of the songs being played on this album was how sad and moppie (ok not even sure how to spell that word). These songs are not quite emo in the way they are being played instrumentally but the lyrics sure are.
Though the depressing, or maybe close to whininess of someone longing for something, is not quite prevalent in the sound as it is in the lyrics. If I were to listen to Pheonix without understanding the words being used, I would have thought that the songs where more pop rock with a cheerful meaning to them. That’s how the vocals are sung, that’s how the instruments are played, and that’s the overall feel to the songs. Only it’s the lyrics that are making the songs depressing and whiny, but it’s not how they are sung, just the meaning of them. As far as the vocals go, they have a even tone to them where Matt MacDonald has a steady voice. There’s a good tempo to the songs, not that much energy to them, listening to them would be better when wanting to have something playing when just sitting around a quiet room but the lack of any energy didn’t have me too invested in the songs.