Album Review: $crim — ‘A Man Rose From The Dead’

Not just one man, not two men- everybody rose from the dead when they got hit with the release of $crim’s ultra new debut solo album. The other half of the $uicideboy$ duo has been immersed in pouring his heart, soul and profound musical talent into this very intimate project during his arduous self-isolated journey toward sobriety. This emotional record was originally composed of over 100 songs, and a ‘select trusted few’ assisted $crim in cutting, chopping and narrowing the number down to a respectable twenty. The 51-minute ‘A Man Rose from the Dead’ takes you along the rocky path of rehabilitation, never without some unconventional melodious twists and distortion-heavy turns. 

Following up from a catchy intro, the third track is seemingly the most popular from the record, with a totally modest 327,000 listens on Spotify already… and for good reason. ‘Jesus Wept’ is an anthemic trap hit. The dark and unpredictable beat goes hand-in-hand with the bass-boosted levels and gravelly voice, truly showing that the Palm Springs rapper-producer’s punk influences are never turning opaque. It’s easy to assume that all the fan love for this particular tune is due to the pure G59 traditionality, the chaotic verve smeared over every single part of this song- and whilst orthodox to his usual style, this does not take away any ounce of excitement. I can  comfortably imagine it being played live to a crowd of thousands who are simultaneously forming one giant mosh pit; fingers crossed this is a future post-lockdown vision.

The next banger that deserves a mention is none other than ‘Nightmare From The Northside’, a blitzed-out track detailing $crim’s desire to release some built-up energy through the medium of fighting. Though the main topic of this song is pretty confrontational and there is plenty of drugged-up imagery, there does appear to be a deeper message hidden amongst all of the intimidation; ‘Usually off them drugs but the boy cleaned up (What?)’. He’s referencing the time he’s spending sobering up and working on self improvement. The haunting old school backing instrumental is what makes this song the buried treasure of the album, with bizarre sound effects flowing into a river of room-shaking vocals and electric energy emitting from every single lyric. Notably, the theme of this track has a strong contrast with the subsequent ‘Euphoria Euphoria’ which features the musician’s love and craving for Xanax.

Fight Club (Psychosis)’ doesn’t go unnoticed, providing us with a zoned-out yet nightmarish record which certainly doesn’t have a lack of guns, choking, blood and death. $crim is riled and he’s giving himself the pathological choice of two grisly options⁠— either kill everything in sight or kill himself. This could be an emotional projection of how the total drug comedown is making him feel; aggression and depression are common side effects once somebody stops giving in to their addictions and craving for their vices. ‘El Guerro’ has a similar vibe, showing what it’s like to grow up in New Orleans and the enchantment of the violent culture within that area. It paints an utterly hedonistic view of how the city’s residents go about their daily lives⁠— craziness and cautiousness are an imperative mentality duo. 

Personally, I felt that quite a few of the songs on this album were very alike and fairly repetitive in their synth beats and autotune-heavy melodies, so I can understand the backlash of some fans expressing their disappointment in this solo project. Nonetheless, the particular tracks that I highlighted definitely made this release worthwhile, and it’s sick that $crim is channelling the difficult process of sobriety and any negative energy into his creativity. The songwriting and production still make this album an enjoyable listen, and I hope he works on more independent music in the coming years. 3/5

Summer Frost