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Editors’ Notes

Coming just six months after its debut, Crimes is the delightfully sprawling sophomore release by These United States that showcases the ambition and creative drive of this intriguing new band. Blending indie rock with a touch of country twang that taps its Kentucky roots, the band boasts an energetic looseness that is sustained for the entire album. Lead singer Jesse Elliott has an excellent voice and a strong delivery and he packs a vanload of images, observations, and references into these dozen songs. Ricocheting between wordy and dense and insightful and inspired, the songs speak of crimes, sin, and salvation in their various forms. Yet even though the lyrics can sometimes get a bit thick, they are usually saved by catchy sing-along choruses, something the band does particularly well. The looser, hook-heavy romps like “Susie At the Seashore,” “Honor Amongst Thieves,” and “Six Fast Bullets (Five Complaints)” are balanced by slower songs like “We Go Down to That Corner,” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “Study the Moon” and allow the listener a moment to catch a breath, while also giving the album a good flow and continuity. Overall, Crimes is a highly enjoyable and original work that could earn the band a much wider audience.

Customer Reviews

Incredible CD!

I heard these guys on NPR last night, and they are incredible! A cool blend of The Shins and M Ward with just a little rock-a-billy thrown in. I LOVE the lead singer's voice -- and Honor Amongst Thieves is one of the best tracks.

Featured on NPR

Another great band I've found because they were featured on NPR (All Things Considered? Weekend Edition? I don't remember). This is the first band I've heard in a long time that successfully combines alt-rock with a country twang. Love the pedal steels and the Jack White-like vocals. It's like a cross between Cracker and the White Stripes? I dunno... I am not so good with those analogies... Please listen for yourself. Check out "West Won" and "Old John Chapman..." Fun stuff.

Don't listen to the person who wrote the review of their last album! They are haters!

Okay... so you either like poetic/expressive writing or not. If you don't, you might be annoyed by the lyrical content in these songs much like the guy Apple hired to write the review of their last album. I do think this album is stronger and more upbeat than the last with more rockabilly flavor (definitely a good thing). For all you haters out there, you go and try to record 2 quality full length albums in the same year and see if you can produce something even 1/10 the quality of these albums. If you want to hear a great band who consistently creates great music do yourself a favor and buy Crimes!


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Combining Devendra Banhart's "new weird American" eccentricity, Flaming Lips-influenced electronic bells and whistles, and a Wilco-esque twanginess, These United States create a musical melting pot that blends together a wide array of influences. Born of a collaboration between Jesse Elliott and David Strackany (the man behind Paleo), These United States put together the songs that would become their debut LP in 2007. The resulting album, A Picture of the Three...
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Crimes, These United States
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