Scarecrow is the second full length release by Jessica's Crime, a formidable concoction of gothic, rock, and industrial influences otherwise known as "ophidian rock." As the band has stated in their press releases, this is music "by reptiles, for reptiles," and if you've any reptilian blood at all (I know that I do), then you'll no doubt liken this album to a dish full of juicy live rats... or, at the very least, you'll soon learn why being reptilian is a very cool thing indeed.
The opening track, Canaan, with its ominous desert melodies and earthquake percussion, conjures forth the onslaught to follow, from the frenzied Scarecrow + Hizbollah to the slow grind of What Forever Means. Balladseekers may find themselves sorely disappointed, as there is not a single sleepy moment to be found here... then again, who really cares? There are plenty of other albums to weep to... and why weep when you can obssess? For a quick primer, check out She (Metempsychotic) a remix of the band's stalker ode from their first album, refitted with higher power output and a prominent Nephilim-esque guitar riff.
The production of Scarecrow is heads and shoulders above that of the bands debut album, Psychosemantic(1) . The blend of powerful vocals, snarling guitars, heavy production, and the occasional and subtle use of synths effectively arrange a marriage of influences drawn from The Nephilim, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Sisters of Mercy, and many others.
As an added bonus, Jessica's Crime tack two covers onto the album; Gary Numan's Are Friends Electric? and ABBA's Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight). Both are excellent interpretations, and, once one gets past the initial hilarity of the ABBA cover, one will notice that it also happens to really rock.
In short, if you like gritty and dirty (and yet, very well polished in its dirt and grit) rock music, with a tinge of gothic rock and industrial rock influences (the key word here is 'rock'), then, simply put, you need this album. Your new imperative is to purchase a copy of this album, crank up the volume, and tap into your inner reptile.
(1) Reviewed in Legends #88.