Fuzzy Australian Experimentation
Review by a new contributor, please welcome Greg alias Mr. Darkstar from the USA in the team ✌️
Jack Harlon & the Dead Crows, a group of up-and-comers from Bendigo, Australia, first released their demo of the same name in 2015. Jack Harlon and company teased us with a track from their debut in May of last year with Witchcraft, but their long-anticipated full-length debut album “Hymns” finally dropped in its entirety early last month.
How is the sound?
If you’re looking for simple, standard, super-accessible riff-rock, you’re in the wrong place. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, then Jack Harlon and his Dead Crows just might scratch the itch for you.
The album, Hymns, is an uber-progressive blues meets desert-rock album, with a few hints of space rock and doom ‘n’ gloom sprinkled on top. Musically, the album flows together pretty seamlessly, but there are just enough progressive elements to keep a casual listener at bay. On top of its unique musical style, the album also boasts an intriguing written heritage: Hymns is a conceptual album featuring an array of characters set against a backdrop of a mutant-filled Mad Max post-apocalyptic universe.
The first track sets the tone with its wind-swept backdrop, smooth bass line, and classic-70’s-Western-inspired guitar riff. The reverb-laden vocals are either spoken or gently sung, but always on the softer side. The transition from the soft outro of Las Plagas into the thrashing excitement of Witchcraft is one of the highlights of the album.
The journey continues with its fuzzy bass backbone, progressive rhythms, and hyperactive drumming; the catchy verse riff of Ed Parsons carries the album through some crunchy doom territory, and the understated song Byroad allows for some welcome space rock downtime.
If the album slows in any way, it’s through the underwhelming Hyperplasia and John Becomes the Universe. Though one can’t forget the screaming solo section at the latter half of the aforementioned John Becomes the Universe, as it brings the album back up to speed to finish strong with the catchy Ghoul and No More Bastard Children.
Overall the album pumps with acute, percussive energy, and if you’re into progressive blues that’s a bit off the beaten path, you’ll find something worth checking out in Hymns.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- Rhythms are complex enough to distract you from everyday problems
- Album’s story is unique and interesting
- Aproggy maze that is fun to get lost in
In what situation you should listen to this album?
- If you need a switch from simple, samey rhythms
- If you’re ever driving out on some back roads and notice you just turned onto a street called “Fury Road”
Something in particular to note?
And look at that amazing artwork, you certainly recognized the style, yep it’s from the talented Adam Burke!
Ed Parsons, Byroad
For Fans Of
Youngblood Supercult, FUZZ, Ruff Majik, Elephant Tree, Mad Max, King Crimson, Rock operas
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