CRIMINAL HYGIENE

“WITHDRAWN”

Michael “Magic” Fiore – Vocals, Guitar
Michael “Chili” Hiller – Backing Vocals, Guitar
Sean “Bird” Man – Drums, Mustache

LINKS:
Criminal Hygiene Bandcamp
Criminal Hygiene Facebook
Criminal Hygiene Official

CREDITS:
Director/Camera/Edit/Sound – Travis Button (travisbutton.com)
Additional Camera – Anthony Maiuri (maiuri.work)
Produced by – Half Stop Sessions (halfstopsessions.com)

My initial introduction to Chuck Schultz and the Belle Family Band, aka Criminal Hygiene came about two years ago through the infamous Bandcamp Hunter, and if you’re a Tumblr’r that loves music then you should probably give him a follow.  He named their 2013 debut LP “CRMNL HYGNE” as a best of on his “Rock, Punk, Garage” year end list right alongside a couple other amazing albums, which for those of you who are familiar know that is quite the recognition from basically the king of knowing the unknown on Bandcamp.

I couldn’t agree with Mr. Bandcamp Hunter more, it’s hard to narrow down some favorites throughout its lengthy 17 song tracklist but standouts for me definitely include “Rearrange Me”, “Immortal Eighteens”, and “Summertime in October”.  Simply put, there’s no wasted time with bullshit in their music and it’s exactly the same deal in person.  This is real life for them to any extent that is imaginable and the raw, give no fucks attitude of this record alone should attest to its authenticity.  Just listen along as it becomes evident how LA (Echo Park), and a life here obviously contributes to Criminal Hygiene as a band, and as individuals.  After spending the last 5 years in Los Angeles, the latter definitely strikes a personal chord for me with this verse:

“summer in october.

this could last forever,
and i’m hoping for some different weather,
people seem content,
in this town.
waking up to constant heat,
and the concrete on my feet,
burning me to consciousness,
again.”

When we shot this session after hours over at Bird Man’s pizza shop last month, we were miserably living this song for real with 90+ degree weather so we opted for a few different tunes instead.  One of these was “Withdrawn”, the title track off their latest 7″ EP release.  It’s also the song form elaboration on my prior mention of their relationship with LA as both a band trying to get their break and just regular guys working the 40 to make ends meet while drinking the rest away and coping with the isolation this city is notorious for bringing upon its inhabitants.  This isn’t a bad thing either, it’s real and it’s sincere and I give up all the respect to these guys for keeping it that way.  Although the EP shows you a little more polished CRMNL HYGNE than you’re used to hearing, in this sesh we’re bringing it in true rough around the edges Criminal Hygiene style (albeit a slightly tamed style).  Usually when we see them live (preferred method of ingestion) there are a few more flailing bodies, wailing guitar solos, and sure as hell no sitting down but this will have to hold you over for now.

Catch them on a short west coast tour with Twin Peaks starting next week, dates below:

11/11 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room*
11/12 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo*
11/13 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar*
11/15 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill*
11/17 Portland, OR – The Star Theater
11/18 Vancouver, BC – Electric Owl*
11/19 Seattle, WA – Vera Project*
11/20 Spokane, WA – The Bartlett*
11/21 Boise, ID – The Crux*
11/22 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court*

* = w/ Twin Peaks, Meatbodies

*words by Travis Button

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