May 4, 2017

LP: Kissing Is A Crime - Kissing Is A Crime

Kissing Is A Crime takes eerie twists and turns on their latest album.

Kissing Is A Crime’s new self-titled album is full of the dark vibes made popular by post-punk of the '90s that will give you chills over and over again. The album starts off energetic and math-y, but cynicism lies beneath the poppy guitar riffs. Melancholic lyrics add to the album's shrouded tone with one-liners like, “She’s been having strange dreams, and they can’t tell what it means” and “Terror intervention, run for cover with me." The A-side uses hazy guitars to trail off with dissonant interludes and dancing, repetitive riffs. Matthew Mulnar and guest vocalist Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean use fuzzy reverb effects to create ghostly harmonies for the spooky dual vocals in “Sheila’s Gone;" the line “time does not forgive” is eerily split between a descending and an ascending voice. Speaking of the supernatural, the haunting track, “Noise at Night,” stands out as a beautiful, nightmarish anthem. An ominous bass line gives way to Beatrice Rauthbaum's smooth voice as it follows the melody of the song. Then, she croons the line that's all too relatable: “Home alone… Noise at night means I can’t fall asleep.” As someone who listens to way too many true crime podcasts, it hit me hard and brought to mind all the little sounds around my house that have kept me awake into the late hours. The mysterious tone intensifies as creepy screeching effects ring from the guitars, making for a perfect song to give you goosebumps.

On the B-Side, Kissing Is A Crime takes an unexpected turn. Song five, “You Make Me Shatter,” shifts the mood with a brighter and more orchestral sound, even featuring the hum of a dramatic violin. The rest of the album maintains the band’s downtrodden and reverb-drenched '90s vibes, but with a lighthearted twist. "Crown Royal" shines in this odd hiccup, shocking listeners with a jump from the dark post-punk they may have gotten used to. The song relives the aforementioned decade through a different lens, tossing in indie pop elements like a drum machine, high-pitched keys, and the light strumming of an acoustic guitar. When Molnar admits, “I wanna be your casiotone” at the end of the song, the unanticipated bedroom pop suddenly makes more sense. The album’s darker vibes return with “Blind Bruises" and march onward til the finish line with the exception of track “You Would Never Understand," serving the most upbeat two minutes on the release. Kissing Is A Crime’s trademark harmonies and bending guitars carry over to this song, but at a faster pace. Molnar's voice extends to louder and higher pitches, to the point where he's almost yelling. It’s fitting for the energizing track and a powerful and diverse addition to the album’s eerie, groovy sound.


Listen to Kissing Is A Crime on bandcamp.

Brianna Peterson plays awkward pop punk country in a band called Cooper!, loves everything outdoors and Twin Peaks, and is painfully torn between being a dog or a cat person.