The Classic Crime – Vagabonds – Tooth & Nail Records – April 6 2010 – Reviewed By Tyler Hess
Going from album to album can be walking a fine line for bands, where they can fall into either the trap of making the exact same album or changing so drastically that they alienate half their fanbase and aren’t left with much to hold onto career-wise. What The Classic Crime has pulled off in Vagabonds is exactly what every great band should do, which is take their distinctive sound and experiment within what they already do, so that enough has changed to not be white noise, but not so much that they’re a different band altogether.
Vagabonds, the fourth label release from The Classic Crime, shows their ability to mix the acoustic side they showed on the Seattle Sessions ep and their alternative rock anthems that match up more with The Silver Cord than what we heard on Albatross.
What hasn’t changed at all are the thought provoking, challenging, insightful lyrics that come from vocalist Matt MacDonald provides, which are no surprise to the long time fan. In fact, many of the subjects he touches on are things that some of knew he’d been thinking about for awhile, due to MacDonald keeping a blog online that he updates with thoughts on life, faith and relationships. Sure, there are songs like “Vagabonds” and “Four Chords” that pretty much just talking about his love for music, but there are deeper subjects as well. From the ultimately ironically titled “The Happy Nihlist” detailing the difficulty within that philosophical path, to “Cheap Shots” where weakness is displayed and how people are eager to jump in to “rub my face in it”
I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you, I’ll leave it to The Classic Crime to spoil you with great rock songs filled with energy, but I’ll simply say that this will be one of the better albums out there this year, especially if you’re into alternative rock along the lines of House of Heroes or deep lyrics like Dustin Kensrue provides for Thrice.