Pioneers of the Australian rock scene Cold Chisel are here to prove that they’ve still got it. With an air of experience and a touch of justified arrogance this album is sure out to exceed all your expectations of the ‘pub rock’ genre. Jimmy Barnes can still belt it out like he did in the early years of his and Cold Chisels’ career. The Perfect Crime sees the balance of hearty tunes that are full of heavy guitar, and slower songs that feature much more piano and a snappy beat.
On the jazzier side of the album is The Backroom a big, bold tune with a mighty story, the type you’d expect from Cold Chisel married with an impressive piano solo. It promotes a feeling of grandeur with vast, building riffs and a swinging beat that’s almost reminiscent of 70s jazz. This is also the case with title track The Perfect Crime: it’s full of catchy honky tonk piano riffs that give it a distinct rhythm and it’s definitely one you can groove too while belting along with Barnes.
While Long Dark Road is full of grit, it’s a powerful track with a real intensity that builds and comes to its high in the chorus. This is one that really empowers Barnes’ deep, powerhouse vocals and he really goes for it, giving us everything he’s got. Similarly you’ve got The Mansions, another one that lets the vocals shine with delicate key repetition and subtle riffs. It’s a song that really tells a tale of a crazy night in Kings Cross through not just the lyrics, but also the building of the instrumentals.
Unfortunately though they start to lose it towards the end of the record: songs like Shoot The Moon, Mexican Wedding and Get Lucky are definitely a different direction for the rockers. They’ve all got their own distinct sound and they probably could stand on their but they don’t do well gelling with the rest of the material of the album, this section of tracks is a little confusing.
Although The Perfect Crime might not be ‘The Perfect Album’ it does have many redeeming qualities and some finely crafted pub rock that can appeal to everyone. It’s mainly full of impressive lyrics that are elevated to new levels of grit and power by the strong backing vocals. It’s a bit rock, a bit jazz and it’s got some elements you wouldn’t expect from Cold Chisel, but Jimmy Barnes certainly owns it.