The Crumbs have been one of my favorite local outfits since the early '90s. The amount of stories, beers and down-right bizarre situations that I have shared with these guys over the years are too many to fit into these digital pages, but shit, I'd be lying if I didn't confess that I was completely giddy when I was asked by the band to write liner notes for this, their final album.
But is it final? While it seems that way, I hope not. From the day I heard the Alien Girl 7", to the amazing Get All Tangled Up 10", to their brief dance with Lookout! Records, to Last Exit to Dade County Trash; The Crumbs have exhilarated, confused, and bought rounds.
And here we are. This eight song LP is their parting gift to us. Singer/guitarist Raf Classic has soldiered on since day one with an ad hoc army of like-minded individuals who've tenured, recorded and gigged under the Crumbs moniker. Here's a little roll-call to those guys: Chuck Loose (drums), Emil-and-a-half (bass), Toro (bass), Tonio (bass), Johnny B (guitar), Joe Koontz (guitar), and even me almost, based on the fact that I own a leather jacket and fit the required girth asked of drummers.
On this release, we have Raf spouting the classic punk rock snotty snarl that he's come to define and has been imitated on a dozen times, Jose Flores on bass, Tito on guitar, and long-time drummer Marcio "Grim" Gemelli.
I almost don't want to go into details, but I'll do a song-by-song break down. Opener "Loose Cannon" opens the slab in traditional Crumbs fashion: Heavy, raw, catchy, infectious. "Just Like That" keeps the grit going in an even snottier fashion. "S.O.S. (Same Old Story)" reflects almost twenty years of start/stops that have been the underlying current of their ebb and flow. "Pill City, USA" finally sees the light of day in an official recording, too. I believe this track was originally featured in the aborted Hudson split 10" and is also available in the discography/compilation disc Hold That Shit Right.
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The B-side opens with a retooled and very Miami cover of The Who's "It's Not True," completely worth the cover price for this line: "...you say I was at Churchill's, your girlfriend on my lap, I'm not half-Cuban either, and I didn't kill my dad!" This is followed by the equally raucous "Son of A Gun" and the updated version of "Whether I Win or Lose," which still packs the same punch it did a decade ago. The closer, "Another Lonely Valentine" is the bittersweet swan song we'll endure when the dead-groove gets picked up by the needle. it will be a lonely valentine until (hopefully) another album comes out.
So like I said before, this is the final Crumbs album -- but I honestly hope it isn't. These guys have done so much for South Florida's punk rock scene; little things we might not be able to see right now, but in due time the public at large will. Pick up the album, my liner notes go into finer detail. The cover art is by our very own Cristy C. Road and the caricatures of me by my bros Dan and Chaz are dead-on. There's a coupon inside for a digital download as well as a 50% off coupon for a sixer of Schlitz. You can't beat that. Wear your leather, Miami.