Fireworks

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Crowsaw - 'Smoke & Feathers' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/60/ef/12/Crowsaw-Smoke-And-Feathers-16-1410890069.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 16, 2014    
 
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While talented and often explorative, sadly there is nothing new and glittering here.

U.K. band Crowsaw was formed in 2012 and rose through the Highway to Hell competition to come out top. ‘Smoke & Feathers’ is their debut album but it veers between the exceptional, the toe-tapping and the downright repetitive. ‘Skin And Bones’ makes Crowsaw’s mark with a stormy mood but also includes some of that annoying ‘virtuoso’ guitar work of playing up and down the scale. In both this track and ‘Money’, the vocals have a tendency to sound a little tinny and strained. But don’t give up just yet; it gets better.

The title track has whispers of the guitar work of Jack White of The White Stripes fame before it gets up to speed while ‘Let Me Know’ digs into a Country Blues vibe and the distorted guitar works well with a heavy bass and drums. ‘Voodoo Temptation’ again sounds like it could do with some more charismatic vocals; something to match the rolling wave-like drum beat and polyphonic guitar.

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You have to enjoy guitar solos for this record to work for you – they are very much part of the talent and style of Crowsaw, though they do have a tendency to drag on and become rather insular. The sound can often feel a little callous and scratchy, rather than just a raw style of production, and after a while it becomes monotonous.

‘Bitch Blues’ brings a welcome change in tempo and rhythm but what is lacking is melodic differentiation and range in the vocals to show off a little. While talented and often explorative, sadly there is nothing new and glittering here. A competent Hard Rock album infused with Blues and some wonderfully energetic rhythms but style wise it fails to grab me and hold on.     
Sophie Brownlee

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