Roots In The Soil EP – Review
RED CROW take flight with their intriguingly inspiring ROOTS IN THE SOIL E.P. The bands debut release is a combination of contrasts, the soul of desert folk in its most effective & resonating form, powerfully combined with the fuller & thriving heart of its western rock backdrop. Both opposing influences should logically present for an uneasy blend however this effective five piece manage to rise above musical confide and throw aloft each component’s strengths with equal measure.
Roaring bass lines (Matt Watson) and lead guitars acclaim “The River” an instantly familiar and compelling opener. Captured in its catchiness, I feel I know it and I’m wanting to sing along from the very first verse even though I have no idea of what will unravel. Unravel it does and it doesn’t disappoint. Lead vocals are surprisingly warm and poetic for a track you would expect to be conveyed in rock’s more conventional rougher edge. Patrick John Phillip Currier adds a genuine humility to the fast paced flow of the music and sits beautifully against the meaningfully delivered lyrics. It produces a strong feeling of empathy with the artist and immediately makes the song relatable.
Track 2 “City Riser” is cast in a similar musical vein, Christopher Robin Davy can’t half play percussion, vibrant, vigorous and defiant. The tale depicts the soul sapping, relentless world of work and the consequences of a life spent in vain. “It aint fair to have nothing from the cradle to the grave” is the hook line but RED CROW have got plenty and their quest for substance through music is easily achieved.
After the opening couple of tracks, you would be forgiven in questioning RED CROW‘s authenticity and identity as it’s initial westernised approach goes against it’s image of Native American freedom fighting. The RED CROW name derives its origin from the political activist and Sioux musician Floyd Westerman, a passionate member of the Dakota tribe was an advocate for environmental causes and championed his own heritage against the persecution and invasion of their land. His traditional name Kanghi Duta directly translates directly into RED CROW.
Track 3 flips the perspective totally though. It slows things down effortlessly with calmer tones awash with a more meaningful feel and RED CROW’s soul starts to speak in traditional tongue. Amidst the raging storms of the previous tracks, “My life as a dead man” radiates with compassion and speaks of one’s regret at failing to recognise and remember how our feelings are so similarly shared by others. The hindsight of losing someone dear sets the way for a haunting and heartfelt track with James Stevenson’s keys and vocals being a fitting tribute.
Track 4 is likewise sublime. Fred Whatmore on trumpet delivers an uplifting melody which lays the foundation for a more prophetic prayer type number in “Rising Son”
With a melody comparative to the classic Mockingbird, the final throw of the dice is simple serenity. “We can build a house” produces a latching lullaby that loosens and lingers in your memory. It is wonderfully written and unlike it’s point of reference, contains the prose to match the song’s subtle sweetness. It’s arguably the standout track but then again it all depends on how your feeling and with which side you sit, the cowboys or the Indians.
In overview RED CROW’s E.P is electrifyingly elegant. The way that both musical genres collide is strangely seamless and so satisfying. The bands ability to collaborate without the slightest of compromise shows both their versatility and talent. RED CROW is just in its fledgling flight and is already guided with grace. I for one would keep your eyes and ears heaven bound, because a maturing RED CROW developing it’s full wingspan means the sky really is the limit for these artists.
Review by R.T.S Grainger