Album Review: Crows - 'Silver Tongues'

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After much anticipation, North London’s raucous punk outfit Crows have released their debut album ‘Silver Tongues’ on Balley Records, which is owned by none other than IDLES frontman Joe Talbot.

Crows formed in 2015 and off the back of two EP’s and a wealth of singles, they’ve created a huge following due to their intense gigs. With their debut, Crows show no signs of showing down. ‘Silver Tongues’ is a tightly coiled snake that lays in wait, ready to strike at any moment. From the rolling swagger of the title track which is bathed in deception and swagger, to the white-noise droning of ‘Empyrean’ there is chaos awaiting at every corner. James Cox’s monotone cuts through the cacophony that comes from Sam Lister’s thrashing drums in the paranoia of ‘Crawling’. It feels as though the album is a search for self, in dark times. Whether this is due to the fact that the band recorded the album in near pitch black conditions in order to built-up the sense of atmosphere, is to be decided but there is an eerie unknown that comes out in the songs.

‘Demeanour’ provides a slice of capitalistic attack with its punk message, but there is a contrasting acceptance of fault in songs like ‘Wednesday’s Child’ with lyrics such as “blame me for all your mistakes cause I’m a conduit for the devil, just let me in” and ‘Tired and Failed’ – “I’m a coward and a failure time and time again”. There are many moments of cunning lyricism on the album, which is a huge bonus to make up for occasionally wanting a little bit more from the track-listing. In ‘Crawling’, you have hands stretched towards the heavens, looking for salvation but by the time you get to ‘First Light // False Face’ it has been discovered that heaven has no home for you. The song is almost 8 minutes of what can almost be deemed as gothic spoken word, but as it develops it merges into a similar sound as the rest of the record. 

Whilst it goes without saying that this is a solid debut from Crows, a part of me wonders whether they may have been playing it safe with the songs they have chosen to release.

Words by Tyler Damara Kelly