Crown Larks — Blood Dancer
(Already Dead/Spacelung/Landb, 2015, CD/LP/DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-05-27You 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.
Related artist(s): Crown Larks
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
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
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 Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more