CRIMSON STAR – Bay View (Album Review)

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This life is full of surprises and can be gloriously optimistic.  Reviewers always need to keep an open mind and not pre-judge anything.  This release has blown me away and I had never heard of Crimson Star until this week!  The Meister (our esteemed Editor) asked me to take a listen and to see what I thought.

The band are from Birmingham in the UK and were formed in late 2012.  They are comprised of James Shaw (guitar, lead vocals), Ross Edgington (drums, vocals) with Roger Ash (Bass).

Following their inception, there were may live performances in 2016, including some significant tour supports for Tax the Heat & Wilson.

The band recorded the Bay View EP in June 2017 with well-known record producer Romesh Dodangoda (Lower Than Atlantis, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend).  The record is made up of five tunes that blow away the listener with a really original sound.  The sound is a fusion of sludge of bands like Black Sabbath and Queens Of The Stone Age, with the pop sensibilities of Depeche Mode.


The album art, which is very much English seaside, surreal and black and white, is memorable.  It gave no clue as to what this band would sound like, but I was intrigued – would it be pop, folk or heavy?  The band became very interesting for me.

The songs blast out, but a sense of drama accompanies the muscular approach.  The production gives equal weight to all the instruments, making them crystal clear and yet warm.  The identity of the band is cemented by the wandering basslines and the awesome voice of James Shaw.  The distorted bass really drives this record and the soulfulness of Shaw‘s singing is something else.

The opener “The Pragmatist” fills your head with tuneful longing.  The heart-breaking line of “the hand I hold so tight is slowly letting go” speaks to every one of us who have lost loved ones…Phew!

Every single one of the songs is class.  However, the finale of “Gimme Some…” is the absolute gem on this EP.  The singer spits out vitrol with “stories create a fear, holding back the reality“; is this a veiled dig at media misinformation perhaps?

My faith is new music is restored.  I urge you all to check out Crimson Star and hear authentic soul in a soulless world.  The Meister has served me up another band to clutch close to my heart – thanks, dude!




Buy: Bay View

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