Alien Crime Syndicate had lousy luck with record companies, being dropped by two majors before they even got a chance to release a single proper album -- perhaps the labels thought they were getting '80s-style Goth-glam revivalists, based on the inappropriate band name -- but 2000's From the Word Go isn't the kind of album that tends to do well on major labels anyway. Joe Reineke's brand of lightly-psychedelicized, guitar-heavy power pop rockers is more appropriate for the kind of pop/rock obsessives who will appreciate the jangly strums, vintage synth sounds, and appealingly retro-feeling fondness for singalong choruses repeated once or twice too often. (In fact, the chorus of the album's best song, "In a Dream," sounds familiar for a reason: It's lifted in whole from Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Not Fragile.") Fans who have this album's follow-up, Dust to Dirt -- which confusingly was recorded nearly two years after From the Word Go, but was released before it -- will recognize three songs that were re-recorded for the later album. Those who like Carl Newman's pre-New Pornographers band Zumpano might consider Alien Crime Syndicate a kindred spirit with an outer space preoccupation replacing Zumpano's '60s fixation.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason