White Collar Crime began in the late eighties as a group of lawyers getting together to make music. While a couple of the founding members remain, the band, like it’s home New York City, has had an evolving lineup.
In a remarkable 30 year run, the band has established itself in the Big Apple’s live scene and on several college radio stations. White Collar Crime’s songs have even been featured on major cable network shows. Not bad for what has been essentially a “side-gig” for the players.
But that is too dismissive of a description for this music. WCC produces well crafted American-Rock with various other influences. On the new release “30 Years in the NY Rain” we are treated to songs from different eras, both studio and live. One thing that has stayed consistent over the years is a solid production value. The instruments are played competently and everything is audible. This is not a group of guys all bashing around, amps at eleven. This is an ensemble where each performer holds up their end of well written songs.
To Be Real starts this career retrospective off strongly. A strong, accessible melody rides on top of energetic but tasteful instrumentation. This is a great example of how each instrument can stay “busy” yet culminate in a clean and clear arrangement.
Sweet Surrender provides a jazzy, atmospheric groove tethered by a Lou Reed like vocal delivery, in a call and response story.
Chasin’ My Tail is a melodic delight. I don’t feel I’m exaggerating when i say this song could have been plopped in the middle of an 80’s era album by The Kinks and nobody would have batted an eye.
Even if you are not privy to the Manhattan bar scene, WCC is so much more than a “bar band”. Give this music a spin or two, and you will begin to appreciate the subtle expertise of these journeyman musicians.
By Peter Harris