The Horrible Crowes

31 08 2011

Next week the debut album by the Horrible Crowes comes out, so here’s a reprint of my review of the LP that ran in Hot Press.It’s my album of the year so far and if you like night-time music and having a wee mope (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then check it out.

The Horrible Crowes

Elsie (Side One Dummy)

Four and a half stars

Key Track: ‘Behold The Hurricane’

Gaslight singer delivers plenty of anthems for his debut side project.

Billed as Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon’s “quiet band,” the Horrible Crowes is a brand new side project that sees the crooner pair up with his old friend Ian Perkins and for the duration of their debut album Elsie they unashamedly indulge their inner torch singers and channel Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, the Afghan Whigs and more on this hugely entertaining opus. Though not quite as chilled out as we were initially expecting, the songs on the record are sexy and soulful and fans will be pleased to know that they stand shoulder to shoulder with some of his best work in his “day job.”

In addition to being a skilled melody writer, Fallon is also a super-talented wordsmith and his heart-sick lyrics really shine on the mellow material and lines like “It’s such a shame/I heard the wind say this morning/Be still my heart/I age by years at the mention of your name” (‘Behold The Hurricane’) really come alive thanks to the more relaxed musical delivery. The perfectly measured melancholy of ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ the anthemic ‘Crush’ and the Waits-esque carnival stomp that is ‘Mary Ann,’ all see the singer at the peak of his powers and there is rarely a wasted moment on this inspired release. Pick this up now.  

Edwin McFee