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From the Word Go

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1997 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Alien Crime Syndicate formed in San Francisco after the collapse of singer/guitarist Joe Reineke's Meices in 1997. Adding drummer Nabil Ayers, bassist Jeff Rouse, and guitarist Mike Squires, the band moved to Los Angeles and managed to score a major-label record deal by the summer. In 1998, the band was dropped immediately before the album was released, leading them to relocate to Seattle where they regrouped and gained some valuable live experience. They recorded Dust to Dirt and released it on...
Full Bio
From the Word Go, Alien Crime Syndicate
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