Detroit based band, Turn To Crime, made their debut last year with the album, “Can’t Love.” Combining distorted guitars and atmospheric synthesizers, the band managed to make a bit of a splash. A year later we have their latest release, Actions. Turn To Crime’s latest switches gears a bit and focuses more on the synth end of the musical magic. For better or worse, it’s a bit of a major contrast and for this reviewer, the results are questionable.
It’s hard to say what sort of music Turn To Crime is trying to make with their latest album. At times Actions is reminiscent of post-punk, at other times, it’s like some sort of darker variation of an 80’s movie soundtrack. This wouldn’t be so bad, but it seems as if the span across genres just stretches the band too thin.
While not horrible per say, Actions doesn’t really stand out as something that great. The album kicks off with, “This Is What You Wanted.” The track is a less than promising way to start things off. The harsh, arpeggiated synth line and singer’s deep whines don’t do much for the ears. Still, you get an idea that some sort of sweet post-punk goodness is to come. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t deliver.
The majority of Actions is completely underwhelming. At its worst the album tosses a song like, “Impatience.” It just drags on in the worst way. A repeating bass tone refuses to let up as the singer lulls you to sleep. It’s hard to find anything worth enjoying in the ominous tune. “Impatience” might admittedly be a cherry-picked example, but the album as a whole is just as painfully boring.
Turn To Crime didn’t flop completely. The band’s most likable tune and the album’s title track really hits the ball out of the park. “Actions” being one of the brighter, more chipper songs of the album, features a rather catchy guitar line. The singer, while still gloomy and hazy, feels more natural when playing in this style. The album also gives us “Light,” which stands out as being just plain more out there. Turn To Crime utilizes hypnotic vocal and bass melodies while a slew of strange and out of place percussive sounds cut in and out. The guitar solo is solid, while not overly impressive, it is excessively entertaining and well placed. Overall, both “Actions” and “Light” serve as the saving grace of Turn To Crime’s latest album.
Maybe I missed the point, maybe I just don’t get it, but Turn To Crime’s Actions just isn’t doing it for me. If you’re the kind of person who generally listens to post-punk, if you’re that compelled to hear every dark set of jams to come out, then please, by all means give Actions a shot. For the rest of us, you won’t be missing much. Hopefully next time the band can put out something a little more inspiring –if not just replicating the same magic they did a year ago.