Reminds us of: Loop, Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Killing Joke, Joy Division, Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Can, My Bloody Valentine, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Links to songs in Green
There’s something about guitars generating a wall of sound that I find completely satisfying to listen to. It is immersive and allows you to get lost in the music. My first exposure to this came through listening to Loop when I was a teenager, and Crows provide a similar experience, albeit the musical structures used by these bands differ, with Loop favouring repetition and Crows slightly more song based.
Crows’ first single Pray was released in 2015, and it’s an excellent introduction to the band, sounding like a cross between Head on and Heavens End by Loop. Pray was followed by the ‘Unwelcome Light’ and ‘Cold Comfort’ EP’s in 2016 - both records are absolute quality, with lead tracks on each Goodnight Evelyn and The Itch stand outs. After this the band stayed quiet (at least on the release front) until 2019 with their debut album Silver Tongues released in March, preceded by the ‘Chain of Being’ and Wednesdays Child singles in January and February.
The album starts a bit sluggishly with lead track ‘Silver Tongues’, which doesn’t make for an easy start to the listening experience, but picks up quickly after here. Lead singer James Cox’s vocals seem to veer between sounding like Ange Doolittle, John Lydon and Ian Curtis at times, with the sneering Lydon-esque tones coming out by the frantic second track ‘Demeanour’. ‘Empyrean’ soars majestically while ‘Wednesday’s Child’ and ‘Hang me High’ channel early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. ‘Crawling’, which originally appeared on their first single continues the pummelling of your senses, and seems to incorporate a Boards of Canada drum pattern.
The excellent, stand out Chain of Being is perhaps the most accessible track on the album, with the bassline very reminiscent of ‘Age of Consent’ by New Order. ‘Tired and Failed’ follows, this time evoking the Ian Curtis vocal and a riff that sounds a little similar to ‘Classic Girl’ by Janes Addiction. We drift into Nick Cave territory initially with First Light//False Face but the track builds and builds into an epic crescendo, and the album’s closer ‘Dysphoria’ feels like a noisy cousin to Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’.
The album was released on Balley Records (owned by IDLES) and recorded in the dark. At times the production feels a bit muddy, and it’s undoubtedly not an easy listen, but Silver Tongues is ultimately an excellent album.
The band have just completed a short UK tour, and then playing some gigs in the states and Europe as well as festivals such as Latitude. They also have an impressive and eclectic taste in music – have a listen to their playlists on Spotify to find out more.