Criminal Hygiene “Run It Again”

Criminal Hygiene “Run It Again”

Criminal Hygiene first came to our attention when they were referenced as a recommended band by a Replacements fan. Now any band influenced by the Replacements is definitely worth checking out.

Before listening to this release, we checked out their last album, which did indeed have a Replacement’s esque rough rock feel to it. However, it’s clear from excellent opening number “Hardly News” that this album represents a real leap forward. It has a huge sense of melody although still hinting at a punk past.

Criminal Hygiene also know how to write a really good pop rock song as shown by “Thankless” and the quite wonderful “Dangers Of Convenience”. These tracks sound like the commercial hits that Westerberg has been craving for all his life. They also serve up “Greetings From A Postcard” a slower song which you sense could be the band’s huge cross over hit.

However, this is not some sort of copycat/retro sound. Indeed, with the modern rock sound of “Breaking Out The Stained Glass” or “Rearrange Me” the band could quite easily appeal to fans of bands like The Foo Fighters. There’s even an almost Clash like feel to the rock n roll of “Private Screening Heroin”. That rock n roll feel is kept going with the bar room shuffle of “Young & Obscene”.

The album then comes to an end with a couple of the strongest tracks, “All But Your Swan Song” and “Turpentine”. We again see our thoughts drifting back to the Replacements, but we’re now really in post “Let It Be” territory. They’re both damn fine modern rock songs.

That’s the key point with this release, it’s just a great, solid, rock album….something that’s pretty rare these days. It feels like a ‘proper’ album, not just the odd good song surrounded with fillers. There’s a sense of a band who take inspiration from the punk rock greats but are looking to inspire a new generation of fans.

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