Crime of the Scene
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., April 15, 2011
ElvisCrime of the Scene
Bare-assed and hoisting a rifle, Brian Rowland takes aim on the cover of Crime of the Scene. The Elvis frontman is a most unusual suspect, perverse yet persuasive, coming on like the abused stepchild of Dry-era PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, a hybrid most evident in "All the Senate's Men," which nails Larry Craig through the glory hole. "You start a war; I start a riot," taunts Rowland in the riptide of "Blow Yourself Up," but he has deft accomplices, too. Shapes Have Fangs guitarist Dustin Coffey leads this Texas version of the Bad Seeds, issuing dank garage-psych ("My Way Robbery") and post-punk noir ("I Don't Care") with seasoned finesse. Whereas 2009's muddy Heavily Decorated documented a daylong bender, Crime of the Scene was born at Austin's renowned Cacophony Recorders studio. That heightened professionalism and clarity helps Elvis rise above mere shock and awe to make a lasting statement. As Rowland warns on the fuzz-bomb "Personal Spaceman," "Don't fuck with Elvis."