Crime and Judy – Vendetta Chants

Crime and JudyVendetta Chants EP (Latest Flame Records)

It has been 20 years since Milwaukee has had anything to shout about as far as offerings anything to the national music landscape. The Promise Ring? Broke up. The Violent Femmes’ reunion tour is but a distant memory now. And the Gufs? Please. As a resident of this town I can say with some authority that good music exists, but nothing that really has the potential to take over the world. Out of these semi-desperate shadows comes Crime and Judy with a big sexy yell and plenty of violins. Their five-song Vendetta Chants EP captures the excitement of their live shows (something that has been thrilling Milwaukee audiences for a couple of years now) and beyond. Imagine Cursive with three girl singers and a violinist rather than a cellist. Imagine the Yeah Yeah Yeahs minus too much beer.

The fact that it was recorded live at the Miramar Theatre both lends to the band’s strengths and detracts from the sonic quality. The vocals could have benefited from a bit of tweaking, and you can occasionally hear distorted murmurings and applause in the background, but overall the fidelity is nearly studio-quality.

The two standout tracks are “Kill Me Goodnight” and “Lose Your Allusion.” The former, a down-tempo meditation on the perils of the morning after, showcases crunchy guitars and the call-and-response vocals that the two singers are (locally) famous for. The latter is more insistent in both tempo and tone, with its repeated insisting both to “go, go, go, run” and “listen, relax, just be polite now.” It also contains the moment—scratch that—the Moment. You know, the one that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you come across it and you yell out loud “That’s IT!” Here, it comes at the end of the song—the vocals are building and playing off one another and then out of the background comes one lovely, tense extended guitar note—and then it all ends abruptly. The listener is left wanting more, which, for a band with so much potential and such poise, is a very, very good thing indeed.

MP3s available on Crime and Judy’s site.

10 thoughts on “Crime and Judy – Vendetta Chants”

  1. As a resident of Milwaukee as well, I could not agree more. I’m glad this band is recieving the recognition they deserve.

  2. i’m reading the quote next door, from neil young “fuck reviews.” i couldn’t agree more. the singers sound like wailing banshees and make me want to shoot myself in the face. i mean, its not so much the musical composition…because that is fairly brilliant…its just that there is an element (aforementioned) to the singing that makes listening to the music unbearable.

  3. If you’re going to preface a post with a disclaimer that pretty much invalidates or at the very least softens your bluster, why post?

  4. This band is different. What they’re doing musically and vocally is incredibly rare if not unique.

    I guess it is understandable that some people may require a few listens before appreciating it.

    If you want the same-old-same-old shit-indie rock filled with attitudes and ironic trucker hats, then this band is not for you.

    For the rest of us, enjoy it at the ground level, because this band is really going places.

  5. One problem for a band that is unique and creative is that they will not please everyone. Being different means being individual and perhaps un-popular to some listeners expecting the same old thing. This band is not the same old thing and this listener finds them refreshing in a same old thing music world.

  6. its great to see ol’ mil town gettin some props i have met these guys before at

    other shows and they are some of the nicest people i have run into in

    Milwaukee. Oh yeah the also happened to rocked the shit out of the globe before

    its untimely passing (god grant it reprieve and let it rests in peace ahhhhh…)

    i have faith that they will keep it up. You all are well advised to keep a

    mindful eye to your industrious Midwestern neighbor.

  7. I just got back from a Crime and Judy concert at the Cactus Club (w/ Mates of State), and C&J ruled! This was my first of what will be many many times seeing them rock the house!

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