The Classic Crime of Seattle have taken the Kickstarter route for their fourth record, like many of their ex-Tooth and Nail contemporaries (Project 86, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Number One Gun for example). Anyone following the band in recent months and years may have detected some subtle angst, arising from underlying identity issues stemming from questions about the band’s future. Their future still is anything but certain, but the name of the record reflects a new embrace of their identity. A rebirth, if you will – although exactly what this means is anyone’s guess. The band recently left a post on their Facebook, stating that there would be one tour, and then that would be it. Are they just referring to this album cycle or is this the end of The Classic Crime? If the latter is true, Phoenix is quite a great way to go out.
Intro “One Man Army” is happily longer than the standard intro, which usually has a novelty that quickly wears off. I could easily see myself listening to this on a shuffling playlist, but that’s just me. The album’s songs are both huge and catchy, and reflect moods from all their previous records. In the intro, I had to check and make sure I had clicked on the right track because I thought I was hearing the opening notes of “Say the Word.” “You and Me Both,” which is beginning to hit the airwaves, sounds like it could have been a single off The Silver Chord. Epic is an adjective (cliche as it might sound) that would apply to several places, most notably with the strings on “Heaven and Hell.” Gang vocals are a highlight of “Glass Houses,” a new tactic for the band. I could go on and on about the nuances of the record. Lyrically, the album is hardly the brightest thing in the world. “Between Heaven and Hell, I’ve got no home…” Matt McDonald muses thoughtfully on “Heaven and Hell.” “Dead Rose” is more hopeful song, looking forward to an eternity spent with God and with an altered perspective on well, everything. “The Precipice” is a straightforward introspective song about faith. There shouldn’t be too many surprises for fans of the band, but be sure to get this anyway. While the future of the band is uncertain, frontman Matt McDonald definitely looks to be in things for the long haul, if anyone in the band is. The whole band deserves your support!