Ayewa's vocals often elicit unease through their sluggish menace and weighty subject matters. But Crime Waves gives her an opportunity to showcase a more nimble lyricism, which is heard in the grime-like cadence of "Matter Of Time." It's also in the singsong overdubs of the opening track, "Hardware," and "Death Booming"'s ghostly croon.
While Fetish Bones felt more surprising in its noise production and vocals, Crime Waves has more obvious precedents, such as the experimental hip-hop outfit Dälek or Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick's Techno Animal project. (Ayewa will team up with Martin and Broadrick's new collaboration, Zonal, at this year's Unsound Festival.) Apparently "Hardware" and "Death Booming" were originally intended for Fetish Bones. The latter's rhythmic clanking and insectile buzzing would fit there, but with bass wobbles, dancehall sirens and heavy beats, Crime Waves has a more primal, if still artful, energy.