Exposé Online banner

Crown Larks — Blood Dancer
(Already Dead/Spacelung/Landb, 2015, CD/LP/DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-05-27

Blood Dancer Cover artYou know how some bands sound pretty much the same on every track? While there’s something to be said for consistency, too much of it is definitely a bad thing. Crown Larks have no problem in this respect: there does seem to be a central core that could be called their “style,” but around and above that is an impressive amount of variation. Blood Dancer is their full length debut, and it presents a strong progression from their previous EP, Catalytic Conversion (2013). Fans of classic krautrock will hear some influences in the sections where a simple drum pattern backs a loose groove with a droning psychedelic feel, and the addition of some jazzy horns over the top brings to mind Missus Beastly or Xhol Caravan. Instead of trying to grab the listener right out of the gate, the album starts out boldly with the midtempo drone of “Gambian Blue Wave,” a subtle tune that works its way into the consciousness, featuring electric piano, quietly driving drums, and saxes and brass providing the real wild card; vocals are dreamy and echoing, with multiple parts interlocking. “The Timebound Bloos” speeds up the tempo a bit for a more energetic variant on the same sonic space, adding a B section that hits some varying chords and provides a nice change from the droning. On track 4, we get another change: “Fog, Doves” spotlights female vocals. The other tracks work admirably as well, with some nice organ work on “Blood Mirage,” and the long slow buildup of “Overgrown,” which finishes the album up in cathartic fashion. Crown Larks have assembled a fascinating sound, stitched together from pieces of krautock, Sonic Youth, and early Pink Floyd, along with a heap of their own ideas. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Crown Larks

More info
http://crownlarks.bandcamp.com/album/blood-dancer

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Four Aces – This, the fourth album (obviously) from the Mexican neo-prog outfit Cast, is very much along the same lines as their previous three efforts, but with some obvious improvements. The line-up is a...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues