Review: Accordion Crimes

A Higher Quality Version Of This

If you were officiating a game of tug-of-war and at one end Modest Mouse and Built to Spill were tugging viciously against Shellac and Fugazi, you’d have a really shitty metaphor. On the other hand, you’d have an interesting tug-of-war match that refused to leave the CD player. After listening to A Higher Quality Version of This about a hundred times, I have come to accept that Accordion Crimes is a perfect band: its songs are maddeningly catchy, its lyrics thoughtful, its soft/loud dynamics executed with the seamless expertise of bands like Nirvana and the Pixies. The highlight of the disc, “Planes,” has the ability to reach deep within the very core of your soul and demand an emotional response: the intro is melodious and cacophonic at the same time. The drums and bass kick in a minute later like a sack of bricks across the face. The heart-on-the-sleeves lyrics are downtrodden with a shrug of inevitability—the most poignant way to sing the blues. The backbeat swings. The singer sings his fucking heart out. If you’re looking for a new favorite album that will remind you of the late summer of 2009 years from now, find a copy of A Higher Quality Version. If you end up regretting it, I’ll buy you a beer.