Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crime and The City Solution - Room of Lights

Exquisite excursions into the Song's Dark Arts by a supergroup involving Simon Bonney, Rowland and Harry Howard, Mick Harvey and Epic Soundtracks.

"Following on the heels of two successful EPs, Crime & the City Solution turned around to record some of their best material for Room of Lights. With violinist Bronwyn Adams added to the camp, the band acted as dynamically jagged counterparts to their peers; the music they now embraced was a rough and ready rock that slotted itself nicely under a gothic canvas -- they were and remain post-punk's forgotten kings. And although fans may cite some of the band's later work as better, it really isn't. It may be smoother, more refined, but nothing had the vibrant impact of the sound slammed home on this album. Its urgency jangles, its cacophony is dichotomous, and, at times, the underlying energy is breathtaking as the band storms through a great set. From "Right Man, Wrong Man" and "Hey Sinkiller" to the sleepily ominous "No Money, No Honey," it's hard to find fault. And if there could be a breakaway hit on an album like this, "Six Bells Chime" fits the bill. Director Wim Wenders included the band and song in his now classic 1986 film Wings of Desire. Elsewhere, "The Brother Song" and "Adventure" round out the set. While the LP is hard to find, the CD reissue is still around -- and boasts a clutch of bonus tracks taken from the Just South of Heaven and The Dangling Man EPs, an opportunity for the full scope of the band's early material to be fully sampled. Yes, the band would retain much of their sound across an impressive canon, but really, the earlier days of Crime are better. Their sound was grungy in a different time and space, long before the term was coined" - A Hanson



  1. They were a truly great band to catch live. I travelled a fair distance to see them on several occasions between 1985-86. It was always worth it. The later stuff just didn't match the intensity of that period's output. Thanks for putting this up. D.

  2. Wish I'd seen them live at the peak of their powers. I agree with you that the later stuff wasn't as intense, but to me Shine, Bride Ship and Paradise Discotheque are no less compelling.

  3. This is one of my fave albums of all time. A truly lost classic. RIP Rowland S. Howard.