With echoes of The Jam, Boys, Clash, Sham 69 and the passion and forward thinking of Billy Bragg, on their new album Crimes, Occult Detective Club is the sound of today with a nod to the past. Taking a cue from an increasingly active underground Texas music scene, they play a mix of first wave punk and new wave music with a focus on the catchy chorus, the thoughtful lyric, and a DIY mentality.
The band, formed by Alx Anguiano (vocals/guitars), Andrew Messer (guitars), Chris Reeves (drums), and Tyler Shults (bass), has previously released theirdebut album Tortures in the of spring 2010, and fellow Texas gore-hounds Hex Dispensers covered their song “I’m A Ghost” on one of their latest singles.
Occult Detective Club‘s Crimes, is every bit of the three-chord wonder that we loved all those years ago. There isn’t anything overly technical, complicated, or shocking; Occult Detective Club avoids the "musician’s Punk" that prevails these days, and runs with 1 minute songs and less than poetic lyrics (…) Bottom line: Crimes is awesome but not complex. That’s how punk rock should be. – TRENDROBOT
It’s more than a homage to the golden age of punk, they have refined this sound to a fine art adding too their own quirks and styles. – BARRYGRUFF
I was prepared to write this one off as generic Sham 69 pump-your-fist punk, but then the words demanded to be heard and I was hooked. The main man here is Alex Anguiano, who sings like the bastard child of Win Butler and Joey Ramone (not as horrible as it sounds) and resembles Lance Hahn’s Chicano cousin and writes with a conciseness and economy of phrase that is always human. His empathy for people shines throughout. The first two tracks (including current single “C’mon Levi”) concern the tragedy that is New Orleans and dig this big crux: “This town’s worst can still beat where I’m from.” Amen, brother. – The NOISE
If you threw this on, and I knew nothing about it, I’d have said it was from 1978. – Mary Leary / DAGGER
It’s tough coming up with anything new in punk rock that isn’t going to sound as if you were trying too hard to reinvent something that’s as basic as it gets. Occult Detective Club know this, and that’s why their sophomore effort works so well. Dive into as few chords as possible is the motto, keep the drum rolls constant, and deliver snappy lines like "Until our bitter end/You can buy my cigarettes/We’ll drain our bank accounts/Cause that’s what love’s about" somewhere within the allotted time frame. The dozen tracks total less than a half-hour — a slap in the face to the quartet’s base of Denton, Texas, where everything is supposed to be bigger. Songs abound about government ("Oh, Bureaucracy"), getting out of a one-horse town, and young love ("Young Lovers" – duh). Ska creeps in, as it tends to do in these affairs, and not as if it could ever happen but at times it does seem the Bosstones are trying to choke out the Clash. It’s from the latter that ODC draw much of their influence, with anti-establishment sentiment often the underlying theme, as on "Running from the Red Squad." Because even if it’s paint by numbers, the popo still don’t like punkers. – Michel Christopher / BOSTON PHOENIX
For all of the band’s reference points, they’ve created their own unique sound. The playing is tight, the production values stellar and Alx Anguiano’s vocals providing the perfect punk snarl. CRIMES showcases a band understanding who they are and where they’re going and can only mean this is the beginning of greater things for this young band. – Carl Cortez / ASSIGNMENT X
Done and dusted in 28 minutes, there’s nary a sniff of a ballad or a hint of wimping out on the agenda here. Judging by the sleeve photo, OCD look unfeasibly young and fresh-faced, but they knock out their hyperactive ramalama with an intensity that’s tangible and infectious, not to mention a passion and commitment that puts most of the current young pretenders to shame. – Tim Peacock / WHISPERIN' & HOLLERIN'
Hyperbolized bohemian rhapsody. A Jacuzzi for post-collegiate ennui. "Snarky Puppy, man."
Whatever opinion you hold of Denton’s musical landscape, one thing can’t be denied: The city’s small-town atmosphere has a knack for incubating talent. – Tales from the Occult Detective Club – Cole Garner Hill / QUICK DFW DALLAS/FORT WORTH
Glorious retro punk (figure about late 1970s, early 1980s) with strains of The Clash, The Misfits and even a little Elvis Costello. – Bill Lynch / CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Merging the driving energy of bands like the Ramones and the New Bomb Turks with an airtight delivery, the band freshens up that raw sound with tightness reminiscent of California skatepunk. What’s surprising is that, rather than taking away from the songs’ energy, the restrained delivery adds a new layer of anxiousness, creating a feeling that’s somewhere between being uncomfortable in your own skin and being moments away from bolting for the nearest exit. – Gregory Heaney / ALL MUSIC