Crows are a new band who are wound up tight on garage rock energy. Unwelcome Light, their debut EP, announces them to the world with sharp energy. These 4 blokes are well versed in their high-powered guitar music, and they know what to do. Unwelcome Light is a 5-track 12” released via Telharmonium.
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- Unwelcome Light by Crows
7/10 Robin Staff review, 21 June 2016
Laurie’s impression of rock music is just people smoking cigarettes while saying “rock rock rock in a rock band!”, which I find very accurate. Crows are mostly doing that on this record, thrashing the drums and playing grumpy chord sequences while someone pontificates over the top like a true rocker. Their new EP, ‘Unwelcome Light’, does the exact thing a debut should: it rides by on unwarranted energy that demands at least some strand of the spotlight.
It’s also psych rock. Did I mention that? The guitars oscillate and whine and whirr and move along like skeletons surfing. Such makes “Silent Forest” a highlight, its verses spooked and its choruses relatively sweet. It’s all done with a special attention to clarity, the band hoping none of their sinister rock affectations will get lost in the mix. “Hang Me High” sounds like one of those gnarled Fat White Family numbers with less of the transgressive elements, curling from an angular bassline into a surprisingly jangly guitar movement. “Unwelcome Light” jumps in half way through a surfy riff and then lets it whine lethargically through the song’s confused map. All in all, there are more surprises and suspensions to their music than you’re gonna expect on first spec.
This is a real good record, but I have some notes. “Goodnight Evelyn” is something a misnomer -- it’s too hard on the shred, too devotional on its straight-up structure, while the lead singer ditches the Cramps-influenced spookadelica, hinting at the sarcastic demeanour of Ought’s Tim Darcy. What ‘Unwelcome Light’ suggests is a band at their best when their charismatic lead singer has the best riffs to respond to. Make it happen more.
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