The Classic Crime


You know the kind of music that you crank up and sing along with when you’re driving? The type that has you playing air drums at a stoplight and other people look over in awe of your percussion skills? I’m proud to say that one of my favorite “crank it up” bands is Seattle’s own The Classic Crime. These guys debuted in 2006 and have been making waves in the music world ever since.

While I haven’t had the privilege of seeing them in person yet, The Classic Crime is reputed to put on an earthshaking live show. Discussion boards devoted to them are plastered with messages like, “come to my town!”, “we want you back!”, “you almost broke the floor!”, and “why do you have to be in Seattle?” Clearly people in other states– and countries– are jealous of our hometown asset.

The first time I listened to The Classic Crime, I thought, “huh, sounds like Fall Out Boy.” The difference was that I could understand what the lead singer was saying. The more I’ve listened, the further I’ve moved away from that comparison, because these guys have an impressive range even if there are parallels to other acts.

To quote one fan, we’re not hearing the same chords in every song. They exhibit a range of emotions and display diversity rather than every album sounding like a variation on a theme. Even some of the best bands out there get stuck in the predictability rut, and so far I haven’t heard that.

This band also has a stalwart lead singer who can wail and some heavyweight talent providing the backup vocals and instrumentals. They ooze energy, which is obvious in some of their videos. While their music is mature enough to appeal to more ripe listeners, their rowdy vibes definitely reach the younger set as well.

One of the most impressive aspects of The Classic Crime is that they are a band with a social conscience. Their lyrics often reflect the concern they have for their fellow man, a point hammered home in my favorite song of theirs, Abracadavers, with the line “we’re spending way too much time on ourselves”:

The band traveled to Haiti in late 2009 to assist and encourage disaster victims. But they and their families do much more than they are recognized for to reach out to others and improve their lives. Knowing what amazing women they have behind them and what a blessing their commitments to others are would have me sending a blogger’s shout out to this group even if their music wasn’t my flavor.

Another quality of The Classic Crime worth mentioning is that their lyrics can be bold and controversial without being obscene. They sometimes deal with dark subjects and inner conflict, but do it without including George Carlin’s “Seven Words” routine.

Too often I feel that our society expresses emotion and passion through swearing rather than the English language, to the extent that we seem to be losing our language. It’s good to know that not all successful musicians have resorted to four letter tirades when there are more poetic options.

Right now, the Puget Sound area is drenched in rain, as it has been for most of the past eight or nine months. We’ve had more rain than normal this past year and the temperatures have also been unusually low. People are starting to feel it. I’m heartily recommending vitamin D drops to others so we don’t all go WWF on each other due to a lack of sunshine. There was a brief mention of renting padded sumo suits at work the other day.

Some of us have been expecting Noah’s Ark to float by anytime, and I have a feeling a similar sentiment was on The Classic Crime’s mind in their song Seattle. That’s been my theme song lately as we slog through the puddles that dot our rutted pavement.

Seattle, via a groovy little cartoon, captures the sort of trapped, cabin fever feeling that many of us are gripped with. At first glance it made me think of Todd McFarlane’s animation for Disturbed’s Land of Confusion video, but it’s more mellow:

And TCC, I’d love to hear you take that classic on as partial as I am to Disturbed’s version.

To learn more about one of the Emerald City’s crown jewels, please visit The Classic Crime on these sites:


The Classic Crime is:

Matt McDonald – Vocals
Justin DuQue – Guitar
Robbie Negrin – Guitar
Alan Clark – Bass
Skip Erickson – Drums

I have it on good authority that they’re writing for their next album– I look forward to hearing (and experiencing) what they do next. In the meantime, their Solar Powered Life track is going to continue to infuse Northwest lives with some liquid sunshine as we stretch towards an actual spring season. But hey, our precipitation plague is what keeps Washington green, right?


God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory. –Augustine

©2011 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

One thought on “The Classic Crime

  1. You just introduced me to a new band. Cool! A lot of bands I could really love because of driving beats and voice quality, sometimes loose my interest because I get bored if their lyrics are only ever the dyfunctional angry looser type of lyrics.

    Looks like these guys are on their way to a major record label.


Seriously, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s