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Crimes in Mind

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(9 Reviews)

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  • Seventeen years after its original release, this album has been issued for the first time on compact disc. It’s about time! This is a very strong album with only a couple weak tracks. Just for some backround information, Streets was the brainchild of Kansas frontman Steve Walsh. Steve left Kansas in 1981 to form a band with a more straight-ahead rock style than what Kansas was putting out. He surrounded himself with bass player Billy Greer, guitarist Mike Slamer, and drummer Tim Gehrt, and the results were phenomenol. This is the second and final album by this virtually unknown band. Steve Walsh is at his vocal peak on this album, he simply could not be touched, not even by Journey’s Steve Perry. The album begins with the fiery rocker “Don’t Look Back” which features great guitar riffs and catchy hooks. It starts the album off on the right foot. This track is bettered by the following “The Nightmare Begins” which is all that one could want in a rock song, great melody, hard hitting drums, thought provoking lyrics and soaring vocals all contributing to a great melody. The lyrics on this album illustrate the darker side of life. Mike Slamer’s guitar work on these two cuts and throughout the album is mindblowing. He has a very adventurous style, sleak yet agressive but it always sounds classy and beefy. “Broken Glass” is the only real “ballad” on the album, but is extremely powerful. The song’s structure is intricate slowly building from delicate layers of keyboards to a memorable chorus with beefy guitars. Walsh’s performance is earnest and it is a classic power ballad. The next track “Hit ‘N Run” is a very average, mediocre rocker and one of the only tracks I would classify as “weak”. Next up is the album’s title track and it’s a very pleasant anthemic rocker. The chorus is very catchy, but I must admit it is missing something. The verses could have been constructed better but it is still above average. The album regains it’s momentum with “I Can’t Wait” and “Gun Runner”. “I Can’t Wait” has lyrics everyone can relate to, dealing with the frustrations of life while yearning for the good times. Walsh gives it all he has on both these tunes. “Gun Runner” is just amazing. The melody is dark yet memorable and the chorus will stick in your head for a long time. This is a sleak and brooding piece of rock with it’s relentless hook and dark lyrics, is one of the best songs on the album. “Diseree” is rather amusing with it’s sexual lyrics about a very “agressive” chick isn’t bad, and has some great guitar riffs, but is one of the more average cuts. The following two cuts continue the high quality of the album, Rat Race, sung by Greer (who sounds just like walsh) is a nice commentary on trying to get ahead in the world, and “Turn My Head” brings the album to a hard-rocking end. All in all, this is very, very strong collection of hard rock tracks. Slamer and Walsh are the standouts. Slamer is the best guitarist you’ve never heard of and Walsh just uses his pipes to their maximum ability. Billy Greer is very competent and adds much to the backing vocals and of course the hard hitting Tim Gehrt can’t be left out, his fills really add to the mix. The production is crisp and not all that dated. Wounded Bird Recods did a fine job transfering the master tapes to CD! The sound is crystal clear. If you are a fan of 80’s Kansas, Steve Walsh, or bands like Survivor, you will not be disappointed in this album.

    Posted on January 23, 2010