“It inspires me.” (Mike Watt, about playing after White Circle Crime Club in Switzerland, 2005)
White Circle Crime Club is a four-piece band from Antwerp/Belgium consisting of Jelle De Cremer, brothers Jan and Sis Matthé and Krist Torfs.
Around since 2001 and with a background in fast punk/hardcore bands at the end of the nineties, White Circle Crime Club so far have released the noirish e.p. These Are The Secret Sounds Of Fear (2003), the rough-edged Written in Black (2005, mastered by Black Sabbath roadie Alan Ward) and A Present Perfect (2006). Their third full-length effort is called Pictures Of Stares (2008) and was again recorded in their own Blue Hotel studio in trappist beer pilgrimage Chimay (B) by Bert Aerts and mastered by Alan Douches (Liars, Oneida, Panda Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Bad Brains) in NY.
With their latest album, White Circle Crime Club have finally come home and for the first time musically succeeded in making a record that breathes one atmosphere throughout, in contrast with the eclectic, unfinished schizophrenia of a group still finding its feet on earlier efforts. Each and every one of the songs on Pictures Of Stares paints a pretty, abstract and dreamy picture, eloquently streamed consciousness full of love for time, travel and unreality, a focused vision on now/then/forever.
Before and after releasing A Present Perfect in September 2006, White Circle Crime Club joined TV on the Radio twice on a European stint. They also played a VPRO radio session and successfully toured on their own, always and everywhere celebrated for the honesty and ferocity shows are delivered with on stage. Early 2007, White Circle Crime Club toured the larger part of Western Europe (from Oslo to Lissabon) together with The Blood Brothers. In summer they jointly paid the UK a visit and played Belgium’s biggest alternative festival Pukkelpop. The Present Perfect year was significantly finished off with an improvisational set at the Kopstoot! exhibition in Amsterdam about underground art movements in Antwerp since the end of the 70s. White Circle Crime Club’s albums were all part of the exhibition and pieces of the improvisation of that night ended up on the last record.
Bands like White Circle Crime Club, willing to stick their neck out musically, lyrically and organisationally and confidently exposing a quality throughout whatever they do, cannot be cherished enough. As for their latest album Pictures Of Stares: there is much to discover, and to go back to, in the generous company of a document as beautiful as this.
Jack Sipps, Antwerp 2008.
Jelle De Cremer: vocals, guitar
Jan Matthé: bass guitar, vocals
Sis Matthé: guitar, keys, vocals
Krist Torfs: drums
Pictures Of Stares LP (2008)
A Present Perfect LP (2006)
Written In Black LP (2005)
These Are The Secret Sounds of Fear EP (2003)
White Circle Crime Club - Cavern Exeter - July 2nd 2007
[+ Show ]
The 4 band members had the job of warming the stage for The Blood Brothers, but hell, they burnt it ...The 4 band members had the job of warming the stage for The Blood Brothers, but hell, they burnt it instead! It gives me all sorts of pleasure to not be able to start this review by tucking White Circle Crime Club neatly into a defined style; I stood there feeling as transfixed as the rest of the crowd looked, and am unable to say I've heard another band like them. At times the sounds leaned cheekily towards the 80's, with electro FX merged luxuriously over distorted guitars, a sound that hinted towards The Buggles on narcotics. The majority of each song in their set was comprised of luscious instrumentals that had a danger and suspense that, dare I so happily say, reminded me of The Doors' most inspired live moments. Execution-roll pounding on the floor tom and guitar/FX waves that refused to cease increasing in tension and frantic panic; this was the kind of sound that stops crowd youths from trying to mosh-out the sound, and instead has them captivated and fixated on the directors.
WCCC look like a band, and they sound like a band. If that reads as the most obvious comment in the world, then you must have had your eyes and ears shut on the music scene for much of the last 15 years. The fact that these guys had a well-perfected full sound, and looked like they were living for every damn note means more than any billboard figure. These guys drove the audience on one beautiful ride; and when they're back, count me in.
White Circle Crime Club - Pictures Of Stares
[+ Show ]
C’est un rock tourmenté, qui suinte le désoeuvrement, la bile, le sang d’encre. Il connaît par coeur...C’est un rock tourmenté, qui suinte le désoeuvrement, la bile, le sang d’encre. Il connaît par coeur l’Amérique des sentiers battus (castagnés, même), a fréquenté avec intimité et fougue toutes ses guitares stridentes, maltraitées, architendues – de Fugazi à Interpol, de Minor Threat à Deerhoof. Et pourtant, grand groupe de rock américain perturbé, White Circle Crime Club est belge, d’Anvers, comme Deus. Anvers, colonie donc d’une certaine vision électrique et raide du rock tel que pratiqué dans les marges à Washington DC ou Chicago.
Comme Deus, le groupe a beau hérisser ses guitares, jouer ses mélodies en lignes brisées par fidélité au hardcore fondateur, il possède ce supplément mélodique, romantique qui le traîne, presque malgré lui, vers la pop – contrariée mais bien présente. Il y a donc du Wire dans ce rock anguleux et pourtant mélodique, où les chorales semblent enfermées dans une caverne, condamnées à chanter fiévreusement dans le noir des refrains pourtant solaires. Une chanson s’appelle I Got No Wave et, effectivement, il y a de la no-wave, mais aussi de la new-wave dans ce rock malheureux. Mais la plus grosse vague, en tsunami, reste ici la vague à l’âme – en pleine marée noire.
Set list changes every show, most of the time around 40 minutes.
1. Up The Curtain
2. I Got No Wave
3. A Present Perfect
5. Children Inhale
7. Hit Parader
9. A Real Good Name
There are no upcoming dates at this time.