Review: Hi Crime — ‘The Kids Still Got It’

Seattle based shiny pop-rock beauties Hi Crime begin their debut full length The Kids Still Got It with a simple message, “wait.” A modest count in from drummer Cody McCann kicks off the swirling and synth heavy power pop jam that’ll be cycling through your head for days – just a fair warning. What began as the home recording brainchild of Mitch Etter (guitar, vocals, keyboards, effects) and Brielle Rutledge (vocals, keys, guitars) has evolved into a full band with lush arrangements and stadium level potential.

The record wastes no time ramping up with the incredibly catchy, “A Moment Too Soon,” an old meets new 80’s era pop jam that plays congruously with the rest of the album and stands alone as their lead single. Songwriters Rutledge and Etter give us an honest song about self-protection and potential abuse. Rutledge croons “just another knife in the back/the blood is dry to my shirt” and later she’s “sneaking out the door in my combat boots/ready, running.” The song is incredibly approachable and technical and would not seem out of place in heavy rotation on mainstream top 40 or at the top of a trending indie/rock playlist.

The album hits a midpoint with “Japan,” a diary entry about travelling and memories of a summer fling. The tune begins modestly with light  instrumentation but evolves into a four on the floor ballad equipped with viola, ukulele and synths. The song ebbs and flows with the feeling of Maggie Rodgers covering Fleetwood Mac. The lovely balladry of “Japan” is thrown out the window by the pop/club hit “Paralyzed,” a beautiful and seductive song about being, well, paralyzed. Dense layering of entwined instrumentation that calls upon various genres including hip-hop inspired high hat triplets. The song ends with strong lyrics that wouldn’t seem out of place tattooed on various travelers and searchers, “now I can see the truth/I feel it in my bones that anywhere is home.”

Hi Crime have put out several self produced releases, played on TV, been on the radio and packed just about every venue within King County. Not bad for a band that’s barely two years old. You can catch them August 3, 2018 at the Wayward Tavern and after that on a brief west coast tour. More show info can be found at hicrime.com. 

(Check out ‘The Kids Still Got It below via Bandcamp and get more info about Hi Crime HERE.)  

Alex Stanilla

Alex Stanilla is a writer from Lebanon, Pennsylvania now residing in Seattle, WA. He enjoys cats, pasta, live music, coffee and donuts and trying to write about all of those things. You can catch him at a show or the bar or the bar at the show where he'll somehow find a way to compare whatever band is playing to Elliott Smith. Find him on Twitter at @Kanga_rooBoy