Crime & the City Solution

Room of Lights

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Following on the heels of two successful EPs, Crime & the City Solution turned around to record some of their best material for Room of Lights. With violinist Bronwyn Adams added to the camp, the band acted as dynamically jagged counterparts to their peers; the music they now embraced was a rough and ready rock that slotted itself nicely under a gothic canvas -- they were and remain post-punk's forgotten kings. And although fans may cite some of the band's later work as better, it really isn't. It may be smoother, more refined, but nothing had the vibrant impact of the sound slammed home on this album. Its urgency jangles, its cacophony is dichotomous, and, at times, the underlying energy is breathtaking as the band storms through a great set. From "Right Man, Wrong Man" and "Hey Sinkiller" to the sleepily ominous "No Money, No Honey," it's hard to find fault. And if there could be a breakaway hit on an album like this, "Six Bells Chime" fits the bill. Director Wim Wenders included the band and song in his now classic 1986 film Wings of Desire. Elsewhere, "The Brother Song" and "Adventure" round out the set. While the LP is hard to find, the CD reissue is still around -- and boasts a clutch of bonus tracks taken from the Just South of Heaven and The Dangling Man EPs, an opportunity for the full scope of the band's early material to be fully sampled. Yes, the band would retain much of their sound across an impressive canon, but really, the earlier days of Crime are better. Their sound was grungy in a different time and space, long before the term was coined.

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