Friday, April 5, 2013

A Criminal Risk's The Art of Dropping Names by Zackary Miller

Guest Blog
by Zackary Miller

Back in 2011, New Jersey punk rockers A Criminal Risk released their debut record, The Art of Dropping Names. The album, although short, is packed full of riffs and choruses that will undoubtedly ingrain themselves in your brain.

Reminiscent of early blink-182, “Brooklyn” and “Heartless Romantic” work the listener into a frenzy with the drummer stealing the show and driving the band forward at a relentless pace, right into the title track.  “The Art of Dropping Names” proves to be much different than the last two tracks, with more of a focus on vocals rather than infectious guitar riffs. With an old-school edge to his voice, the singer belts out the lyrics with power that had not been seen yet in full.

These three tracks, along with the solid “Sarah Sanity,” prove to be the high points of the album. The others, although catchy and enjoyable, don't seem to be quite as memorable. “Stand Alone,” the ballad of the album, is heartfelt, but at five minutes in length, only serves to slow the record down.

Every record has its speed-bumps, but the overall momentum and hooks that highlight the The Art of Dropping Names are enough to convince me that this band is not to be taken lightly. They proved that again recently, with the release of their new single “311.” With a more refined instrumental sound and aggressive vocals, A Criminal Risk demonstrate that they do not plan on taking the “pop” approach to punk. They will do it their way, and nothing is more punk than that.

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