Exposé Online banner

Crime in Choir — Crime in Choir
(Omnibus OMNI033, 2002, CD)

Crime in Choir — The Hoop
(Frenetic FR015, 2003, CD)

Crime in Choir — Trumpery Metier
(Gold Standard Labs GSL128, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Crime in Choir Cover artThe Hoop Cover artTrumpery Metier Cover art

This instrumental San Francisco based outfit started out life in 2000 as a guitar / bass / drums / keyboards quartet, adopting a somewhat psychedelic groove-based jamming style mixed with elements of math-rock, which informs much of their 30 minute debut release. Original drummer Zach Hill was one half of local heroes Hella, while pianist / bassist Kenny Hopper had been a founding member of the original At the Drive-In. By 2003’s release The Hoop, only Hopper and keyboardist Jesse Reiner remained from that lineup, adding guitarist Jarrett Wrenn (also an AtDI alum) and two more members on sax and drums; by this time their compositions had become far more ambitious and energetic, still encompassing much of the original math-rock elements, but ratcheting up the complexity and embracing elements of the best instrumental progressive rock: shifting meter, intense dynamic changes, playful melodies, and frequent changes in direction and style. The listener is presented one surprising move after another across the album’s ten tracks, yet the band never crosses the line into that “difficult listening” territory, which bodes well for accessibility. Their latest, Trumpery Metier, is another ambitious step forward, brisk with brilliant instrumental interplay and busy compositional complexity. Tracks like “Grande Gallo,” “Octopus in the Piano,” the title track, and “Land of Sherry Wine” display a spirited intensity that drives hard with a surprisingly fresh cache of ideas, each member giving it all, but none stealing the spotlight. And the amazing thing is that at this point they really don’t sound like anyone else out there. By all means, check these guys out!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2002 releases, 2003 releases, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Crime in Choir

More info
http://crimeinchoir.bandcamp.com/album/the-hoop-2
http://crimeinchoir.bandcamp.com/album/trumpery-metier

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jesca Hoop - Kismet & Hunting My Dress – I missed this extraordinary songwriter's debut back in 2007, but when I heard her second effort I immediately sought it out. Kismet is a stunning entry into what might be called the Eccentric...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues