Over the last few years, the likes of cybergrind and mathcore have reared their ugly heads into the musical zeitgeist, for better or worse, introducing to the world new visions when it comes to how to write and perform music. Enter Codefendants, a newly formed trio consisting of Fat Mike, Sam King, and Ceschi Ramos. The group’s debut album, This Is Crime Wave (Fat Wreck Chords, Bottles To The Ground), is their titular foray into a new world that combines hip hop, new wave, and an underlying dose of punk rock.
Over a run of ten tracks, the long player incorporates lo-fi beats that retain punch and panache. The heavy and raw lyrical content melds with warm-sounding songs that are acoustic, folksy, abrasive, flavorful, you name it. ‘Brutiful’ is a cheeky pun that shouldn’t hinder the fact that it’s a song with luscious melodies. ‘Suicide By Pigs’ – though clearly alluding to serious material – plays more like a comforting campfire song sung by a man who has seen some shit.
Rap fans will be pleased with opener ‘Def Cons’ as the energy increases over time and the bars are laid down more and more intensely. ‘Abscessed’ provides enough rap and pop punk to adequately please fans of both scenes.
The staying power of Codefendants is their ability to bring so much to the table in a cornucopia of elements that might otherwise result in jumbled, uncoordinated mush if it were handled by lesser artists. The music can be enjoyed for its to-the-bone themes just as much as it can be enjoyed for its truly bouncy atmosphere.
It’s impossible to pontificate about what crime wave as a genre will become. But much like Possessed carved out an entire genre by song title alone, these three guys just might be onto something special.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10