Crimes (Released 9/23/08)

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“…novelistic songs packed with dense narratives and loose, ragged-edged folk, rock and Americana…”


One part Rolling Thunder Revue, one part banged-and-bruised balladeering, two parts just plain strange, Crimes sees the band hitch an American folklore ride down diverging tracks from A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden‘s trembling psych-folk tendencies. Bandleader Jesse Elliott’s casual croon careens more often towards a yearning yelp – desperate times, you know? – as his merry gang of Obviously Five Believers vamp all piss and vinegar, hoot and holler, multi-instrumental mischief and sly saloon smiles.

In place of Picture’s lovelorn protagonists, Crimes supplants the classic characters of a world gone wicked: bad men in boots and boats, all-too-able Cains, wolves in fresh-shorn sheepskin, sold-out sirens of the seashore, knife-wielding big-talking drunk drinkers, Moriartys, don Quijotes, Samuel Clemenses, and all manner of disillusioned Appleseeds in between – with the occasional dogged optimist thrown in for good measure, of course; even the world itself can’t be all bad all the time.  As self-effacing as they are scathing, though, Crimes‘ critiques are ultimately an empathetic eye towards the sins, schemes, devils, and delusions that bind us all.  Dreams, in other words.

Track listing (click track title for lyrics):

1. West Won * MP3
2. Susie at the Seashore
3. Get Yourself Home (In Search of the Mistress Whose Kisses are Famous) * MP3
4. Pleasure and Pain and Pride and Me
5. We Go Down to That Corner
6. Honor Amongst Thieves
7. Six Fast Bullets (Five Complaints)
8. Heaven Can Wait
9. Study the Moon
10. Those Low Country Girls
11. Old John Chapman Takes a Good Long Walk
12. When You’re Traveling at the Speed of Light