CRIMINAL CLASS USA: Hush Hush Revolution: CD

Considering it was on Arkam, I had these vain hopes that CCUSA was going to be some sort of all-star lineup of Pine Hill Haints people doing straight-up punk songs or something. I mean, come on, what was I supposed to think? There’s the vaguely political title, the packaging’s got this red-black-white color scheme going on, there’s lot of rad pixellated images, and mildly incendiary song titles like “Freedom Hills” and “Many Weapons Many Men.” This, however, wasn’t the case. So you’ll pardon me if I was bit disappointed with this one—mostly due to, yeah, those preconceived expectations. Because there are moments where the, like, punkness shines through a bit on this one, but it’s not nearly as consistent or powerful as I was hoping it’d be. The tracks on Hush Hush Revolution are peppered throughout with pretty blasé instrumentals, the music as a whole is kind of lacking in hooks, and I’ve listened to the entire album multiple times, and unfortunately nothing really stands out besides the last song, a fiery, four-and-a-half minute barnstomper called “Run and Hide.” They’ve apparently toured with the Stockyard Stoics; their influences seem to be drawn equally between bands of that ilk and dark, rootsy country music. Like I said, it wasn’t a flop of an album by any means, just wasn’t as spectacular as I was hoping it’d be.

 –keith (Arkam)