Album Review: Crows: Silver Tongues – A Sequence of Multi-Layered Rock and Vocal Charm

‘Post punk’, ‘taut rock’ noise and ‘Shoegaze’ are three words typically not associated with Rock. Yet Crows somehow manage to weave these sub-genres into their clearly Rock-focussed album.

The band already has a solid string of singles under its belt. Since its formation in 2015, its members have concocted a multi-layered, Rock-esque sound. Silver Tongues – their debut sequence – testifies this.

Reportedly, the album was predominantly recorded in literal darkness – so that its authors’ setting mirrored its thematic undertones. Crows definitely aren’t afraid to think outside the box. Its musicians have used their own creative initiative to produce their first album.

The eponymous album opener is, in one word, loud. Yet it’s impossible to deny its pull. Its lengthy introduction commands the listener’s attention. You can almost see its live performance being a huge success.

Its successor, “Demeanour” is no lighter in tone. However, its brevity marks a stark difference to the tracks that follow. It seems to act like a buffer against the heavy guitars that govern the rest of the sequence. “Empyrean” and “Wednesday’s Child” are particularly guitar-laden.

Guitars do indeed appear to be the sonic back-bone of the album. With the exception of aforementioned “Demeanour”, it’s a prominent feature throughout. Resultantly, it firmly cements its Rock genre identity.

However, James Cox’s vocals are also notable. He performs with scores of energy at all times.

What’s more, he presents an unwavering commitment to every song that he orates. And his vocal flexibility shines through each – specifically in the final track “Dysphoria”. Unfortunately, his melodic singing quickly transforms into more shouty vocals.

Though this is, after all, a Rock album. Perhaps a live acoustic will enable Cox to showcase his vocal range in more depth. Could this be something for the band to consider in the future?

Later tracks like “Tired and Failed” indeed suggest scope for a calmer, acoustic rendition. The more energetic pieces before it, however, seem less adaptable.

Penultimate piece “First Light // False Face” boasts a duration of over seven minutes.  It’s evidently the album’s most creative and explorative number. Its spooky, narrated intro plunges into an atmospheric scene. It contrasts completely with its predecessors – in both length and style. This implies Crows’ potential for even more genre exploration.

Their debut release gives only a taste of the band members’ collective talent. Their upcoming tour may very well deliver a clearer view of their prowess.

Sam Meleady

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