CODEFENDANTS RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM “THIS IS CRIME WAVE”
CODEFENDANTS RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM
THIS IS CRIME WAVE OUT ON MARCH 24
VIA FAT WRECK IMPRINT BOTTLES TO THE GROUND
THE BAND FEATURES HIP-HOP ARTIST CESCHI RAMOS AND GET DEAD VOCALIST SAM KING WITH NOFX FRONTMAN “FAT MIKE” BURKETT
WITH GUEST ARTISTS RAPPER THE DOC, BAD COP/BAD COP’S STACEY DEE, AND ONRY OZZBORN OF DARK TIME SUNSHINE
A few years ago, Sam King from Get Dead and his graffiti crew were giving tattoos and making flash art to raise money to help rapper Ceschi Ramos while he was incarcerated. After his release, the two met at the Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, CA. They began recording songs together and soon after enlisted “Fat Mike” from NOFX as the group’s producer, and co-writer, as well as contributing his skillful musicianship to the tracks. Together, they formed the ground-breaking musical collective Codefendants. Their debut album This Is Crime Wave will be out on March 24 via Fat Wreck imprint Bottles to the Ground.
The ten-song-set is a mix of punk and hip-hop, that also incorporates other sounds and influences. It’s a trip to the dark center of their lives, their worlds, and their pasts, both lyrically and musically, all broken homes and broken hearts within a broken system. The song “Abscessed,” which features three other members of Get Dead as well as Onry Ozzborn of Dark Time Sunshine, is haunted by personal trauma existing in the context of the current dystopia we find ourselves in. “Fast Ones” which features legendary rapper The DOC throws shade at “punk rock posers” while also detailing the brutal reality of the life that Ceschi and King have both experienced behind bars. Elsewhere, “Suckers” is a slow, groove-laden warning that serves as the kind of advice Ceschi says he wishes he’d had access to as a kid, while the almost cheery-sounding “Prison Camp” lays out the morality of prison code while also deriding the system that props it up.
Others include “Suicide By Pigs,” a track that’s both a commentary on police brutality and about the breakup of King’s marriage and “Disaster Scenes,” which features Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee. It traces the direct relationship between systemic issues and personal trauma. diving deep into Dee’s harrowing past while simultaneously asserting the damaging, widespread consequences of the US government’s war on drugs. “Brutiful” is a self-aware examination of personal and universal accountability and the general horridness of human beings, while “Sell Me Youth” almost contains a sense of hope within urgent insistence to not conform to what the world expects from you. It all comes to a head with “Coda-fendants” a melancholy rumination on mortality set within the backdrop of the opiate crisis.
These songs don’t stop at personal experience, they tie everything together, drawing lines between the prison-industrial complex, systemic racism, and American capitalism, as well as the correlation between punk and hip-hop, two sounds that were created on the fringes by necessity and then co-opted by the mainstream. The Codefendents are both a breath of fresh air and a steel-toe kick in the nuts. Impossible to define by traditional standards, they were forged out of a desire to make an album that sounded like nothing else; a completely genre-fluid album.