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Yank Crime (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

The band's second and, unfortunately, final album, Yank Crime is as worthy and awesome as its predecessor, losing not a jot in the change from independent to major label status. Including some longer, more complex tunes this time around, Drive Like Jehu is otherwise essentially unchanged, fusing brawling, crisp rhythms and high volume intensity with technical complexity, feeling like a mad science experiment gone completely out of control. Aside from the guest backing vocals on the frazzled angst explosion "Luau!" by fellow San Diego music fiend Rob Crow, it's again all down to the band's four members, with drummer Trombino providing the strong, take-no-prisoners mix. Perhaps even more than the debut, Yank Crime solidified Drive Like Jehu's reputation as kings of emo. While use of that term rapidly degenerated to apply to sappy miserableness by the decade's end, here the quartet capture its original sense, wired, frenetic, screaming passion, as first semi-created by the likes of Rites of Spring. Whether making it short and sweet, as the surprisingly gentle instrumental "New Intro" demonstrates in three minutes, or taking time, like the nearly ten-minute conclusion "Sinews," the band wastes not a note. Froberg's sense of intense, almost accusatory delivery is astonishingly dramatic throughout, whether in full cry or with a touch of restraint, as on the rhythmic chorus of "Do You Compute." His guitar partnership with Reis is still in full cry, creating honestly epic zoned and screaming feedback roars and waves — the aforementioned "Do You Compute" is one fine example, as is "Luau!," which builds to a awe-inspiring, eternally ascending rise. While a recording of the band's incendiary live shows would be the best way to remember the quartet, Yank Crime is a thoroughly excellent if unexpected way to bow out, artistic rock that actually, honestly, and totally rocks.

Customer Reviews

Classic Math Rock

After their eponymous 1991, Yank Crime feels like a rawer, more muscular release. It is a must have for anyone who is a fan of this genre. Certainly don't miss Thunder Down Under or their Peel Sessions release, if you can find them.

For what it's worth, I think "Bullet Train to Vegas" and "Hand over Fist" are mislabeled: they appear to be switched on iTunes.


Formed: August, 1990 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Although they weren't around for long, Drive Like Jehu had a tremendous impact on the evolution of hardcore punk into emo. Underappreciated during their existence in the early '90s, the band was sometimes overlooked next to post-hardcore kin like Fugazi and Quicksand; at the time, many critics also lacked the frame of reference to place their music in a broader context. The term "emo" hadn't yet come into wider use, and while Drive Like Jehu didn't much resemble the sound that word would later come...
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Yank Crime (Bonus Track Version), Drive Like Jehu
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