Be A Criminal
Garrison sound eerily like a ton of bands. They’re very stereotypically late ’90s “emo,” in that their songs lurch around with lightly sung vocals, building guitars and drums, huge choruses, and “ooohh eee ahhh ohhh” style back up vocals. They’ve obviously been influenced by a truckload of melodic postpunk/emo bands, for they’ve crafted their chops nicely.
Be A Criminal’s opening track, “Recognize An Opportunity,” comes across as Mission of Burma, Jawbox, and (early) Trans Megetti rolled into a firm, peanut riddled log. I found myself being rocked from all directions; the track, as well as the rest of the record, features crashing drums, longing vocals, looping guitar lines, distorted bass… all the makings of a hard rocker that makes you sniffle.
I must be honest and say that Be A Criminal isn’t the most original sounding record; it’s obvious that they’ve borrowed the best parts of several groups and come up with a pretty sounding album. I don’t feel that this makes them bad, because they’ve borrowed from some really excellent bands. When these guys are rocking out a la Braid, I’m OK with it, because there’s a lot worse bands they could be copying!
Be A Criminal isn’t going to be hailed as the next Four Minute Mile (Nathan T. Birk’s all time #1), but it is a really enjoyable slab of emo-core. If you dwell in the realm of Deep Elm releases, Mineral songs, tight black Dickies, and the Christie Front Drive anthology, they you’ll go nuts over Garrison. This is a pretty solid record that will rock you, but won’t change the face of the world.