Kids On A Crime Spree Fall In Love Not In Line

28th January 2022

Format Info

LP - Black Inside Clear Vinyl

Here in Monorail we’re always in awe of the independent record labels that work tirelessly to bring the world’s outsiders into the light. These are lifers, people at the edge of their tethers fueled by coffee and pure, unfiltered passion for the music and culture they’re immersed in. One such label is the Oakland, USA-based label Slumberland who, decades before Monorail opened, began releasing pop music made by inspired, love-lorn weirdos and never stopped. With Kids On A Crime Spree and Artsick, and last year with The Umbrellas and Chime School amongst others, Slumberland are as vital as ever.

Kids On A Crime Spree may have been percolating in the indie / fuzz pop underground for a few years now but the synergy they’ve boiled down on Fall In Love Not In Line marks the high, high point of their time. We’re talking 70’s Power Pop (think Phil Spector producing the Ramones), a speedy punk dynamic fighting against the amassing reverb and classic, C-L-A-S-S-I-C-O harmonies. It’s a guitar record alright, with layers of differing textures woven by six strings resulting in a gauze of mealy, meaty sharpness. At times an undertow of distorted guitar and fuzz-bass absolutely stinking of earlier My Bloody Valentine, at others a clangy, twangy single-coil surf lead guitar, this is axe-heavy in all the best ways.

Lead singer Mario Hernandez’s vocal strikes just the right amount of sneer along with the nasal, bratty heart-break and it elucidates these sugary power-pop nuggets with a beautiful doomed, skinny-tied wonder. Stand out tracks? Sheesh, where to start. When Can I See You hits straight to the solar plexus like one of those perfect Good Vibrations punk 7”s from 70s Derry, Goods Get Got has a gritty Dead Moon-ish riff that turns the track into a late 60s moody teen stomper, Steve, Why Are You Such A Liar? Feels like  classic indie pop banger if Joe Meek snuck into the studio and had a go at the guitars. The whole record is like a Pick ‘n’ Mix of sugary treats that are actually good for your heart? Who knew?

Are you ready to fall in love?