THOSE DAMN CROWS – Murder and the Motive (Album Review)

The newest signings to Earache Records and the Welsh valleys newest export, Those Damn Crows sound nothing like their Welsh brothers Bullet For My Valentine or Funeral For a Friend. In fact, you wouldn’t pick them as a band from the town of Bridgend at all. No, this isn’t your usual screamo/metalcore we’ve all gotten used to from these parts, this is good old classic rock with an almost Southern tinge.

First track “Don’t Give a Damn” starts off with a cranking riff and the most southern sounding vocal a Welshman will ever pull off. This is part Black Stone Cherry with a touch of Metallica and Shinedown among other things. A well-constructed song with a big sing-along chorus that is backed up by a thick chugging riff which takes a nice turn at the 2-minute breakdown.

Second track Blink of an Eye” is a stormer from the off. That ringing riff and softly sung vocal builds and builds until that chorus hits. This is anthemic rock at it’s best! Wow, what a chorus! I can just see this all over American rock radio. It’s one of those tracks that is instantly likable and catches your ear as soon as it begins. I love the change in the second half of the track it just gives it that something it needed to not be too repetitive.

Someone Someday’ sounds like it’s taken its licks from Shinedown. This is not a bad thing it has elements of that band but is not a complete copy, it has its own identity. Again this chorus is big and building throughout, it’s one of those songs that brings the fight out in you.

“Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead” has a beating drum and a winding riff that kicks it into high gear. This is a foot stomper 80’s rock style, the guitar sound captured is thick and heavy and the vocals sound so warm throughout everything I’ve heard so far.

“Behind These Walls” has that Black Stone Cherry southern sound to it. It starts off slow and easy with an almost southern tinge to the vocals again, especially in the chorus where the backing vocals add to that particular flavor. I love that little soulful guitar solo that’s tagged onto this, it needed to be a touch longer which I would like to have heard. “Say It” has an almost 90’s punk element to it with that down-stroked riff and that plugging bass. Once the vocals come in I love how the second guitar comes in over the main riff and takes it somewhere completely new. That chorus is as in your face as it could be for this type of track, it’s powerful and rapid.

That riff that opens “Seven Days” is sweet; it’s winding at first then turns into a fast chug. This is a nicely paced mid-tempo rock track with yet another big chorus. “The Fighter” is fast and pounding on the doors to break through. I love the pre-chorus on this with that slightly off tune chord they keep striking. The chorus on this sounds like the opening to WWE Monday night raw or at least it should be on there.

I love this opening riff on “Breakaway” with it’s rolling almost thrash-like texture. As I delve further and further into this album I’m still lost for words that all this is coming from a band from the Welsh valleys because it has that all American big rock sound to it. This track is thick, fast and as strong as anything on here. The production on this album sounds so good, the bass is thick and heavy the guitars cut through the mix with power and the vocals have that analog warmth that every digital album needs.

Final track “Fear of the Broken” is the most different sounding track on the album, it has that very commercial sounding chorus with an almost pop-punk sound to it.

All in all, this is the surprise find of the year for me, I’m really glad I found it and you will be too, believe me.

BUY: Murder and the Motive

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