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A Criminal Risk

The Art Of Dropping Names


Tom Kunzman – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Douglas- Lead Guitar, Vocals
Tyler Moellmann- Drums, Vocals


Coming out of New Jersey, A Criminal Risk formed in 2008. The punk rock group battled the infestation of power-pop music in the area. In 2010 the band went in to work on their debut album. The album hit iTunes and Amazon in December 2011 with a physical print coming out short after that. The album, titled The Art of Dropping Names, features eight tracks which spreads 28 minutes. They get the release going with “65” which begins like a Blink 182 tune. They quickly change into their own sound. There are multiple vocals flying in and out while the tunes stay upbeat. The guitars roll along with ease while the drums hammer home some steady beats. This is a number that many can enjoy and should be repeated a lot. You can sing right along with this tune. “Brooklyn” rips through the lyrics with mindboggling speed. It’s hard to hear what the hell is going on during most of the track. Everything seems to be in a traffic jam and it’s just hard to understand what’s going on. I think in this one if they slowed it down just a bit it like they did towards the end, the track would have sounded better. I do like some of the tunes when the vocals aren't around. “Heartless Romantic” is a raw song. The vocals are clear, but not clean. They have a roughness to them. The music is pure punk. They rip through notes like most punk bands do, but the vibe of the track will have you bouncing around. They also include some neat strikes behind the kit. See you can spot them. “The Art Of Dropping Names” steps up next with a big guitar intro before the poppy “la la las” enter the fold. This track is a bit more toned down and sounds a lot better for it. The beat is steady and the track rolls along with clean transitions and clear vocals. The lyrics are easy to pick up and go with and you will be singing along with in no time. “Sarah Sanity” is a fast number that rips through the three minutes it has. The vocals are pretty clear with as fast that they are. The guitars are fun and flirty while the drums lay down a great beat. This is a track that will catch fire. “Stand Alone” slows down the album for the first time. The softer side of the band is reviled during this tune and it’s nice to hear the vulnerability. The vocals are a little rough like the second track; however they don’t hurt the track at all. I really like seeing this side as it shows there versatility. “Morrissey” turns the dial up again on the energy. They rip through the track with fast guitars and huge gang vocals. This tune has Warped Tour written all over it. The track has a great vibe and some sweet drum solo. You can easily get into this number. “Championship Vinyl” wraps up the album with another fast tune that includes some great lyrics and an awesome beat. The guitars are cool while the drums just do their thing. I can see many punk fans drooling over the song. They will also be jumping all over the place during a show. Overall I really liked this album. There is some work to be done though. This is a young band, but they are on their way. The vocals need to be honed just slightly and the length of the album needs to be longer. Those are the only two things I have for them. I like the pace of the album and the slower track was well placed. The lyrics aren't too extreme and you can sing along with the band rather easily. The music is solid and well written. They don't repeat too much and the transitions are pretty clean. These guys will be hitting the big time soon, will you be on board from the start or be jumping on the bandwagon?


Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

65, Stand Alone, Championship Vinyl


Track List:

  1. 65
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Heartless Romantic
  4. The Art Of Dropping Names
  5. Sarah Sanity
  6. Stand Alone
  7. Morrissey
  8. Championship Vinyl

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