October Album of the Month
There must be something in the water in Wales. Following my interviews with Fireroad, Buffalo Summer, The Texas Flood, Florence Black and Kane’d – now we have Those Damn Crows, another bright young rock band that once again reaffirms that there is a new generation of British rock bands that mean business. And no longer is rock’s centre of gravity in London as new bands from Wales, Northern Ireland, the North West and the Midlands emerge, brimming with energy, with a force and richness that simply cannot be ignored.
Those Damn Crows make an immediate statement of intent with their debut album ‘Murder and the Motive.’ Every track could stand on its own as a radio single, a rare quality for any album, which unleashes unbridled rock napalm from start to finish.
Some weeks ago when I gave the first single ‘Fear of the Broken’ its first spin on my rock show, I had a feeling this was going to be a band to watch. The single itself embodies something special about the album at large. The band is not easy to pigeonhole. From a metal feel as the song opened, the song then surprised with a complete twist when the chorus kicked in – a song that seemed to blend grunge, metal and classic rock influences effortlessly in one song. The video that supported the song was clever, creative and ambitious – qualities that shine through in the music on the album.
It’s hard to pick an individual stand out track on the album; the way they work together is what makes the album stand out. Killing Me, Breakaway and Someone Someday could all quite easily be successful mainstream singles.
The album is well produced, but the playing is that of a seriously tight unit that have patiently waited for their first album to be released and you can feel the band is ready to explode on the tour and festival circuit in the year ahead. I see parallels with Stone Broken and Mason Hill: In Those Damn Crows we have another new band with a knockout album that will hit the listener straight between the eyes on first listen. And you have that nagging feeling that the album is only a taster of what’s coming in the concert hall.
Many young bands take a few albums to find their sound. With Those Damn Crows we have a tour de force on album number one. It’s a significant feat for being relatively rare.
With so many great bands emerging from Wales, there are enough of them to fill a stage on a festival! It would certainly be exciting to see them tour together.
The album track Who Said Rock’n’ Roll Is Dead has great radio potential – and with their new album, Those Damn Crows present the compelling case for backing new talent. With albums of the quality of Murder And The Motive, the legacy of new British rock is in safe hands.
(Listen to my interview with the band which airs on the Meridian rock show, on Friday 30 September 6-7pm)