Crime & the City Solution
I feel as if I’ve made a dozen allusions to this band in previous posts without any actual information on them, so for today, I shall be profiling Crime & the City Solution.
The band was one of several formed from the demise of the Birthday Party, 4AD’s premier scuzz-punk unit led by Nick Cave. The band existed previous to the Birthday Party, featuring an unknown cast of characters among mainstay singer Simon Bonney, but no recordings ever surfaced until the mid-80s, with a more infamous lineup. A strict comparison could be made between the bands, for distinctive guitar work and a similar blues-based drawl was also a basis for Crime & the City Solution’s repertoire.
Alongside Bonney, other prominent members of the group have included Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard, Mick Harvey of both BP and Badseeds fame, Swell Maps drummer Epic Soundtracks, and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke (aka Von Borsig). Was this a supergroup? Perhaps by definition, but the band survived several lineup shifts and have released five full-lengths and a handful of EPs, each one different depending on contributors.
Though each Crime record is a unique and solid effort on their own, I’ve uploaded a duo of tracks which both appear on 1986′s Room of Lights, my favorite of their records. The first is their best known song, the epic and powerful ‘Six Bells Chime’ and the second, the closing track from the record.
I first heard of this band from a sequence in Wim Wender’s 1987 film Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire). Here’s the very scene, a live shot of the band performing ‘Six Bells Chime’ in a small German venue. The volume’s a bit low, but I still love this scene so: