White Circle Crime Club - These are the secret sounds of fear [Conspiracy Records - 2003]Ah, what a long and evolving history one can find behind hardcore... From the primitive rawness of Black Flag or Minor Threat to the more sophisticated aspects of some of the bands belonging to the current class. The people behind White Circle Crime Club have taken a similar path, having all started in old-school bands before moving on to a much more melodic music.
While many hardcore bands seem to take a more metal route, mixing their HC roots with some more or less well executed melodic Swedish death metal, some are not afraid of challenging their original scene. Isis, Neurosis, Karate, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cave In are fine examples of this. Seemingly tired of the “musical and ethical narrowmindedness of the (...) scene” (which, if you listen to many insiders, is really plaguing some part of the hardcore “milieu”), WCCC have decided to go for “distorted guitar music with an edge”. You might read that as emo-core actually. I’m not quite sure the band or the label would like that tag though. However, it is undeniable that These are the secret sounds of fear is reminiscent of the sadly defunct Belgian emo legends Reiziger.
Other comparisons could be made with Cave In more pop releases and Fugazi. The songs of this four track ep are nicely written and well produced. The hooks are there, the melodies are beautiful, all in all you can hear that WCCC are good at what they do. Aufbau is a poignant song, almost spine shivering. Pretty vacant (no, it’s not a cover) is as good as any alternative rock tunes I’ve heard this year. A very melodic guitar line and a second guitar bringing noisier elements work just fine and make of this one an addictive song.
But problems there are. First, at times WCCC are launching themselves into more complex, polyrhythmic passages. I don’t know if it’s a technical problem or if it is just because those bits don’t fit in the songs, but they just don’t work. More importantly, the singer is not really at ease when it comes to the more melodic lines.
However, these negative aspects might not be here to remain. At last Belgian hrdcore has a new and gifted band to listen to. Who knows, with the tunes they are able to write, WCCC might have a few indie hits in the coming years...François Monti