I happened upon the Deranged Records bandcamp a while back and made it a point to bookmark it so that I would know to come back to it later. This album, “No Device,” comes to us from a band called Criminal Code. I think that the best way to describe their sound, not that you couldn’t just listen to it above, but if you are wary of clicking it for some reason I would describe it as a little bit harder edged and darker Hüsker Dü. The guitarist definitely has a tone that would make Bob Mould proud, with the chorus effect turned way up high. And, add to that the face that “Defective Parts” sounds a little bit like “8 Miles High” at the beginning.
Every song has that washy, swirling, ringing chorus effect, while the rest of the band fills out the sound with direct and immediate punk rock vitriol. The singer’s vocal yelps are powerful enough to cut through the din, but only just barely. It’s as if the vocals are adrift on the sea, just barely holding its head above water, especially in some of the more abrasive moments, such as the song “Corrosive.”
Standout tracks “Flagstone” and “Mocking Shadows” wander closer to a pop sensibility with honest hooks and catchy guitar melodies, sounding like Joy Division one second (in the case of “Mocking Shadows”) and A Place To Bury Strangers the next. It’s the component of the dark tone that each of these bands shares, keeping Criminal Mind an arms reach away from poppier tendencies, shrouding them in near complete shadow.
The entire album is available on their bandcamp page, and can be heard above. Check it out.