Jessica's Crime formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas where they were initially called SpeedKings. In the interim SpeedKings became Jessica's Crime, and managed to compose a body of songs while undergoing the usual line up changes and catastrophes that are prone to happen to bands. By 1997, their much anticipated debut LP, Psychosemantic*, was finally released and quickly received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. By 1998, they had slimmed down to a duo as the online world was burgeoning for the MP3 revolution. Suddenly, people all over the world were tuning in and catching on to this style of intellectual rock. 1999 saw them moving to Philadelphia while work began on the next recordings. Now, 11 years later, the band has no less than a full length CD and three DAM CD EPs and one cannot help but marvel at their growth in sound and style particularly after enduring the many major transitions and set backs that they have dealt with.
Don't Cry poignantly depicts this growth with lyrics that examine a relational experience. With a nod in musical style that veer towards the Sisters of Mercy and The Fields of Nephilim, this highly addictive song treads upon the area where one partner has seen far too much and has learned what is important in life and what can be cast aside. Vocally there is a maturity as well. The harsh punk edges are layered in the chorus, however Aaron's lead vocals are slightly compressed and showcase his ability to handle the tenor vocal registers that should make the goth world sit up and take notice.
Are Friends Electric? is none other than the Gary Numan hit of some years back redone. There is a bit more energy to this track than the original Numan version, which should bring it much floor play in the clubs. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, the classic Abba song restyled to fit with the goth underground is another hit ready to capture a whole new audience. Whether you like Abba or not, you owe it to yourself to hear how brilliantly this band recreated this tune for the night crawlers of the world. It is totally revamped with a heavy rock edge and cuts away the Abba sweetness that some seem to eschew.
Permanent broods with another lyrical example of the band's growth that questions one's mortality on many levels. The song is bass driven and the vocals demonstrate a bit more angst than the earlier tracks yet despite this vexation, it remains an introspective tune that ponders the longevity of one's love, work and memory in the changing sea of life.
For those who have not heard the music of Jessica's Crime as of yet, Don't Cry is an EP that you really don't want to miss. It is tightly woven together and demonstrates the great strides the band has made in sound and quality. The songs are already garnering some attention on many internet radio shows and it will only be a matter of time before they are all over the clubs. You can sample their body of work on MP3 and I can venture that it is a trip you won't regret.
* Reviewed in Legends #88.