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Ten Songs in the Key of Betrayal by Alien Crime Syndicate

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Reviewed on 21st September 2004.


Ten Songs in the Key of Betrayal

By Alien Crime Syndicate

"Some people tell me to turn it down, I tell 'em no 'cause I like it loud" is a choice phrase taken from Guitar Assault Number One 'Forever Is Rock n' Roll' and a nice little taster of what this album is all about. Jeans. Leather. Fags. Volume.

Interestingly, Feeder cohort Gil Norton produces an album which contains a couple of songs ('Rescue and 'The American Way') that could well have been recorded by Grant and the boys back in the days of 'Polythene Girl'. They've got discordant riffs and large choruses but, then again, Mr Nicholas would probably write something far lovelier than the lyrics "We've got chicks with juicy lips in the U-S-Ayyyyyyyy".

Most of this is a bright, sprightly, sticky stream of soda. It's got heavy intentions nestling alongside sherbet-poppy melodies, it's got swearwords and spikes next to cuddly teeny power chords, it wants to be Godzilla but it's more along the lines of my mate's pet lizards (sadistic-looking beasts with the disposition of three-week old wabbits). In short, it's harmless, bouncy rawk for chirruping along to with some friends in the garden whilst skiving off the pile of essays eyeing you evilly from your desk. Just, for God's sake, never, EVER, listen to 'The Hustla Life'. This song is annoying for two reasons, the first being that it has an opening 'tune' sounding like something a bunch of bored nine-year-olds in the street would sing just to piss you off (think about that playground chant "I've got a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves...", which makes even the most calm and serene of people want to grab a machete and hew a tree to pieces, and you're almost there). Secondly, it's spelt 'hustla'. It's like 'gangsta' taken to a whole new level. Grrr!

'Girls Got' has a riff so antiquated even The Datsuns would reject it. On the other hand, it has a fair smattering of appealing "Woooooo"s. Oh, but now it's been playing for more than a couple of minutes. So near, yet so far...

'Soak In The Vibe' has some grumbly bass to contrast with the pretty slides and acoustics of 'Back Together', which then becomes so turgid and wailing you would escape out of the window if you could do that without removing your fingers from your ears.

Obviously a bunch of lads raised on a diet of attitude and debauchery (name-checking Duff McKagan and Joey Santiago in their 'thankyous', providing backing band for Tommy Stinson on his current UK tour with Jesse Malin), Alien Crime Syndicate have soaked up some of the punchy, skull n' crossbones ethics of their forefathers as well as drinking the spittle of Green Day et al by the bottle. Unfortunately, this energy only sticks it out for the first three blinding tracks - the rest is mediocre.



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