In indie music, there seems to be a new trend popping up every year or so. One of the latest examples is lo-fi surf rock. Done right, you get bands like Best Coast and Wavves. Unfortunately, not every group that comes along on the ride can have the same level of success. While Kids on a Crime Spree‘s debut EP, We Love You So Bad, isn’t terrible, it also doesn’t manage to be very memorable.
With a catchy guitar hook and dream-pop vocals, “I Don’t Want to Call You Baby, Baby” kicks things off on a decent enough note. It has an old-school, 70’s rock vibe, with a good dash of distortion added to the mix. At just under two and a half minutes, however, the song feels like it’s over before it can truly get started.
The band appears to be particularly influenced by the Beach Boys, as a couple of the other songs on the EP feature their signature sound. “Sweet Tooth” is one of these such tunes and includes a simple guitar riff, hand-clapping, and a general early 60’s style. They veer off from this theme on other songs, however. For example, “To Mess With Dynamite” takes on a much more punk rock atmosphere. The song is mixed so badly, though, that the vocals are nearly indistinguishable from the instruments.
“Jean-Paul Sartre 2” ends the album on an incredibly sour note. Screeching guitar feedback joins the main riff, repeated over and over until you’re ready to cover your ears in preparation for each moment. It’s a terrible end to an album that never quite exceeds or fails, and hardly something you want to leave an audience with. Kids on a Crime Spree don’t bring anything new to the surf rock trend, so they’ll likely have to branch out more if they want their music to be remembered.