There’s a certain grace period when it comes to new bands from established vocalists where both fans and the artist are sort of dipping their toes in the water because regardless of the overall sound of a thing, when it comes to vocalists, any new offering is inevitably going to get compared to that other thing. The writing was on the wall with Coliseum’s final evolution and eventual demise following the groundbreaking release of Anxiety’s Kiss in 2015 but that progression didn’t end there for singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ryan Patterson who returned two years later with Fotocrime which took the foundation of that last Coliseum record and explored some exciting new places.
Their first full-length, Principle Of Pain, had some remnants of the Post-Rawk sound but was definitely going somewhere else while sophomore release South Of Heaven stepped away even more from the sound Patterson had initially become synonymous with. That said, Heart Of Crime sounds like Fotocrime. Built upon eleven solid tracks of vibrant, noir-fueled Post-Rawk, the latest release from Fotocrime is easily their most important album to date.
From the opening Electro of the title track and Patterson’s soothing, hypnotic voice over a bed of lush synthetic sounds, Heart Of Crime is instantly off to a rousing start followed by “Electric Cafe” which is big on beats with some guitar line tones in the vein of Post-Punk royalty (Read: The Cure, Joy Division). “So So Low” is laid back and divine with a huge atmosphere while “Delicate Prey” is sleek, sexy, synthetic, and exuding all things ’80’s.
“Crystal Caves” fits a similar profile as it conjures the magic of some macabre noir flick like Manhunter and then “Politi Policia Polizei” is flat out haunting with overall vibes similar to Ritual Howls or Bauhaus. “Industry Pig” goes the old school Industrial route with mechanical programmed beats (Save for Cater Wilson’s cymbals and battle toms) a la early Skinny Puppy and Ministry before this mega chorus with the feel of Nine Inch Nails circa Broken chimes in as the guitars by Nick Thieneman take on an anthemic tone to provide a dichotomy to Patterson’s baritone delivery.
“Zoë Rising” is peak Fotocrime creating a warm embrace with the way this driving ditty hits while later, “Learn To Love The Lash” is dense and determined, setting a mood that hovers like a dark storm cloud before the heavens open up and let loose a torrent of primal brooding with Paul Jenkins accompanying Patterson on the mic. Glistening throughout, “Skinned Alive” closes this latest chapter of Fotocrime and vivaciously pulsates as shining synth lines perforate its’ majestic musical dome with Janet Morgan assisting Paterson on vocals.
Heart Of Crime drops on August 27th through Profound Lore. You can order yours now in a variety of formats by heading here. For the latest on Fotocrime, follow the trail of socials by clicking here, here, or here.