|Crime of Love may be the debut album release from Comanechi, but those with their ear to the ground, or amp rather, of the capital’s underground will no doubt be familiar with this formidable boy/girl duo.Seldom failing to leave an indelible mark on first time listeners, whether it’s their sound, appearance, attitude, or all three, the spectacle of guitarist Simon Petrovich and drummer/singer Akiko Matsuura is an unequivocally captivating sight. Swaying rhythmically, Simon stands slouched over his low slung axe, while the misleadingly demure Akiko switches intermittently from sugary sweet pop caricature to a ball of primal energy – a skin-thumping banshee assaulting the mic with syncopated howls.
Much the same, Crime of Love will undoubtedly catch newcomers in grunge-pop headlights and mow them down with its visceral aural assault of Sonic Youth riffs and explosive vocals. A band that have been evolving for four years now, Crime of Love is essentially a ‘Best Of Comanechi’ so to speak – the essential tracks from their career to date. Bringing new listeners up to speed, and providing current Comanechi-followers with a thorough retrospective of their endeavours so far, the album is notable not only for its instantly gratifying grunge-pop nuggets, but also as a watermark for what is to come from the duo.
‘Rabbit Hole’, ‘Crime of Love’, and ‘Death of You’ all gradually up the punk-to-pop ratio, the latter’s frenetic guitar and nihilistic cries upholding it as one of Comanechi’s best and most urgent juggernauts of their impressive arsenal. ‘On ‘n On’ offers a surprising reprise – a woozy, melodious retro-tinged two minutes that reveals the band at their most placid, but still no less paranoid and frustrated. Songs like ‘Close Enough To Kiss’, ‘I Wish’, ‘My Pussy’, ‘Naked’, find songwriter Akiko at her most confessional – her rudimentary lyrics loaded with fundamental passion. ‘Mesmerising Fingers’ exemplifies this; a full-blooded, unabashed, primal mating call over a bottomed out riff of epic proportions. Indeed, potent themes of sex, love, lust, and loss dominate proceedings across the entire album. After the avant-punk of ‘My Pussy’ – a zombiefied monologue lamenting the loss of Akiko’s beloved childhood pet – the album resolves itself in a definitely thrash aesthetic. The hooky choruses go out, and the ghost of Kim Gordon prevails.
From scuzz-ridden riffs to static-filled soundscapes, Crime of Love is one of the most intriguing rock records of the year.