Good pop in the vein of rock, with some occasional slips into some exploration of sound (dash of sample here, dose of keyboards there) that puts a stamp of distinction into the intentional nuggets offered here. Alien Crime Syndicate is what happens when really good songwriters choose to embrace the pop hook more than trying to flex their musician skills.
Covering inspiration from the Replacements to Weezer and on through say maybe Stroke9 (without the sap), this is indie rock with a hook, plus dynamics between songs so as not to run the same idea over. “I Want it All” plays with some bizarre vocal accentuation of the title that runs through the whole song (too much) and it doesn’t work that well, but is easily forgiven for its enthusiasm for doing something different. In fact, a lot of ACS works with ideas that are almost too trite to be taken serious, but then a spark of melody or unexpected bridge, a subtle diversion and the song takes on a whole new aspect. I argued with myself repeatedly with this CD.
Overall, the light-heartedness makes me queasy and I’d rather dismiss this as capable fodder for those who think they are listening to really “alternative” music, when in fact it’s just a cleverly disguised pop band, but it took me at least 10 or so listens just to make sure.