Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Lone Crows “Dark Clouds” 2014 US Psych Heavy Blues Rock


The Lone Crows “Dark Clouds” 2014 US Psych Heavy Blues Rock
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After releasing their self titled debut album last year, The Lone Crows, a young and promising quartet from Minneapolis, MN garnered a lot of praise for their mix of Blues and Psychedelic Jams, convincing listeners with it’s playful freshness and authentic passion. They continue now with newfound ambition and present their second LP “Dark Clouds” for their first European Tour beginning in May 2014. With no frills, analog production, the captivating dynamics and spirited compositions take you on a trip from today back to 1970 and even further beyond. 

The group takes their dominant blend of Heavy Blues and Hard Rock elements and mixes it exceptionally with influences across the history of rock, such as West Coast Psychedelia, moments of Funk and Soul, Grunge and Alternative, and their progressive Thrash Metal roots. You can hear parallels to bands like Led Zeppelin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Canned Heat, Santana, The Beatles, Robin Trower, Spooky Tooth, Spirit, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Each song showcases strong and melodic vocals full of hooks, intense and soaring guitar work, and a multi-faceted, driving rhythm section, coming together to create a punchy and organic atmosphere that’s bound to conjure up a smile on the face of every music freak. Dark Clouds is the perfect album for a long road trip- highly addictive!….~


Limited RED vinyl version. With their s/t debut album from 2013, The Lone Crows, a young and promising quartet from Minneapolis, garnered a lot of praise for their mix of blues and psychedelic jams. Now they present their second LP ‘Dark Clouds’. With no frills, analogue production, the captivating dynamics and spirited compositions take you on a trip back to 1970 and even further beyond. The group takes their dominant blend of Heavy Blues and Hard Rock elements and mixes it with influences such as West Coast Psychedelia, bits of funk and soul, grunge and alternative, and their progressive thrash metal roots. You can hear parallels to bands like Led Zeppelin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Canned Heat, Santana, The Beatles, Robin Trower, Spooky Tooth, Spirit, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Each song showcases strong and melodic vocals, intense and soaring guitar work, and a multi-faceted, driving rhythm section. 'Dark Clouds’ is the perfect album for a long road trip, and it’s highly addictive!….~


Although on the surface this album from The Lone Crows can sound ultimately derivative and a bit boring in parts there is a certain charm that seeps through and hit’s you when you least expect it. Peddling a rather worn down blue rock Americana, The Lone Crows are fits to moments of inspiration when the music takes over their soul and they stop trying to hard. They really start to flow then and you can feel their soul reaching out. 
And it is soul that this music is all about here. Take the run out of 'Dark Clouds’ which hits a rather neat funky ending and the music drifts along at a pleasant pace. There’s also the magnificent 'Anger’ which features some incendiary guitar and forms a decent start to the album.
We say decent as there are some down points and The Lone Crows will need to iron these out to make any true impact on the Americana scene. In a scene where experimentation has risen to the fore, a thirst for the good old days seems to have subsided and so they may struggle. There’s also the issue that some of there songs just aren’t strong enough to cut the mustard and so they end up flailing. 

Where 'Speechless’ just drags with it’s boring blues, 'The Dragon’ lifts the ante with some funky riffing that throws in a little heavy psych for your pleasure. 'Lonesome Road’ is one of those songs that could have been written in the hey day of Little Feat but 'Midnight Show’ with it’s faux contemporary style fails on all levels. At least last song “On That Day makes up for some of the indiscretions with a rather measured piece which simply oozes American soul. 

It’s hardly going to shine out amongst the many bands who do this sort of stuff but then the competition is fierce out there. At times The Lone Crows sound like an average pub band, at other times they can hit the sublime. It’s a shame that those times are outshone by the bad times but then Led Zeppelin did say there’ll be good times, there’ll be bad times and that didn’t do them too wrong….By Martyn Coppack…echoes & dust….~


»You say my dark cloud’s got a silver lining. But I can not find it … ” 
No idea what dark clouds hung over the Lone Crows , but the text fragment of the title song printed inside the Digi-Pak matches the mood the album conveys. 
“But I can not find it …” was my first thought when listening to this album as I was looking for the live band that we were recently allowed to see at the Mannheim 7er Club . Much more punchy and energetic were the Americans in the 7er over. Somehow very different … which should not mean bad … only very different. 
Maybe it’s such a 'second album phenomenon’? If, after a highly acclaimed first disc, something is pushed along rather quickly , perhaps even more in between touring, then into the studio for the new record - sometimes there is not enough time for songs to develop. To get the very last whistle. The Schmackes the auditions of the debut whistle around my ears. 
Maybe the production is just too smooth, too careful, too safe? A few rough edges, a bit rougher, with a little dirt under the fingernails would have made the disc more lively. So it looks - just after the live experience - a little pale around the nose. Or does it perhaps convey a just as desired, rather a bit more depressed mood? 
If you get involved with them, then the album shows its qualities and that of the quartet. With “Next Thing I Know” the four musicians play the balls just like that. 
“Anger” would have had a good chance of being included in the playlist of my favorite DJ, somewhere between The Four Horsemen and Roooooooxanne , in my gloomy favorite shed almost 30 years ago . Soulig-funky and sluggish at the same time, the number may not be heard in the ear at first listen, but if it has found its way after a few passes, then it remains stuck there doggedly. 
“Out Of Time” seems to be throttled down on me somehow, slowed down, is one of those numbers that live so much more powerful live and on this CD can only guess how much this band gives gas on stage. 
The title song “Dark Clouds” groovs like hell, the guitar solos dripping with melancholy, the rhythm group is ticking precisely like a clockwork - very nice number. The instrumental “Speechless” starts very tender and restrained, runs very bluesy and melancholic. Does “The Dragon” have more power at its disposal, does it want to fly with the Zeppelins ? “Lonesome Road” - close your eyes and drive on this long lonely road. The guitars drive you and every mile becomes a pleasure. Is the lonely road destination the “Midnight Show”? One in a run-down dive bar? The vocals come a bit dirty and rough, breaks give the song excitement and the friends of extensive guitar parts will have a great pleasure in this show. 
Only a few listening passages have made me friends with this second. To check in I put you “Anger”, “Speechless” or the “Midnight Show” to the heart. If you do not know the Lone Crows yet, you should definitely listen to their debut and, above all, do not miss the next gig. Since the guys are under contract at Schwetzinger World in Sound Label, they are regularly on the road in this country…..~


Based in Minneapolis, Minn. Blues-rock band THE LONE CROWS - perhaps one of the most interesting discoveries of the famous German record label World In Sound. It was created at the end of 2011, recorded a 3-song demo “The Big Smokey Room” and, quite possibly, would remain one of many “American rock bands playing blues”, about which we would never have heard … But in April 2013, Germany officially released their debut self-titled album, and the musical Europe was fascinated by young talents from America. The quartet secured its success at the very end of spring this year, releasing its second album, “Dark Clouds”, on the “home” transatlantic label. The new work is performed in a lighter sound than the debut, and it is dedicated, in addition to the expected “blues” and “classic rock”, “funk” “Soul” and in the broad sense of “rhythm and blues” 60-70х. I admit, and the album’s title is “Dark Clouds” - and the disturbing colors of the cover design set me up for a less “majestic” listening style. It turned out all is not quite true. The current “Lonely Crows” are bright, kind, romantic and lyrical. Their songs are not without the seal of a talent for writing, although they sometimes sound like modernized blues-rock legends of past decades: for example, Gary Moore in the case of the instrumental gizmo “Speechless”, or Led Zeppelin in the case of the beloved militant “The Dragon” … In general , the team very successfully disposes its creativity between retro vintage and modern glamor (as do the same on their best albums The Black Keys). Their songs are addressed to a fairly wide audience and may well cause sincere sympathy that a gray-haired biker-rocker, that a start-up business lady has for a glass of tignanello. I note that the voice of the front-men of the group for this scenario is best adapted (it’s just a tear when you listen to it in the performance “On That Day”), and with stringed percussion instruments the guys are treated very skillfully. In general, listen and permeate. PS: Curious fact - before their “bluff appeal” the members of THE LONE CROWS played “progressive thrash metal” under the signboard HEART OF BRISTOL. What spodviglo them to a radical change in the aesthetic course - is for certain unknown. that the voice of the front-men of the group for this scenario is best adapted (just a tear is dampened when you listen to “On That Day” in his performance), and the guys are treated with string-percussion instruments very skillfully. In general, listen and permeate. PS: Curious fact - before their “bluff appeal” the members of THE LONE CROWS played “progressive thrash metal” under the signboard HEART OF BRISTOL. What spodviglo them to a radical change in the aesthetic course - is for certain unknown. that the voice of the front-men of the group for this scenario is best adapted (just a tear is dampened when you listen to “On That Day” in his performance), and the guys are treated with string-percussion instruments very skillfully. In general, listen and permeate. PS: Curious fact - before their “bluff appeal” the members of THE LONE CROWS played “progressive thrash metal” under the signboard HEART OF BRISTOL. What spodviglo them to a radical change in the aesthetic course - is for certain unknown…..~


Minneapolis heavy blues rock quartet The Lone Crows have a very enjoyable album here with Dark Clouds, out now on World in Sound. They’ve obviously studied their classic rock, 1960’s West Coast psychedelia, blues, R&B, and heavy rock well, as the 9 tracks on display here turn up influences as wide as Santana, Spooky Tooth, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Humble Pie, and many others. The band, Tim Barbeau (lead vocals, guitar), Julian Manzara (guitar), Andy Battcher (bass), and Joe Goff (drums), have crafted each song with plenty of melody, groove, and tasty licks, rocking enough but never too heavy. “Out of Time” sounds like a head-on-collision between Bad Company & Wolfmother, while the steady blues rock of the title track, “Next Thing I Know” and “Anger” offers up addicting vocals and well placed guitar riffs. There’s a level of atmosphere too, which you can hear on the dreamy “Speechless”, that allows the bands music to breathe and flow. Of course, the harder rocking numbers fare very well, including the Led Zeppelin styled “The Dragon” and the hard driving, psychedelic rave-up “Midnight Show”, each one a showcase for some impressive guitar riffs & solos, tight rhythms, and the engaging vocals of Barbeau. 

Dark Clouds is an enjoyable little CD, more of a simmering slow grower than a 'hits you right off the bat’ type of release. The Lone Crows have put together some memorable songs with solid instrumentation, and I think the future looks quite bright for them. Definitely a band to keep your eye on if you like classic '60s & '70s sounds….~



Credits 
Bass – Andy Battcher Drums – Joe Goff 
Guitar – Julian Manzara, Tim Barbeau 
Percussion – Joe Goff 
Vocals – Tim Barbeau



Tracklist 
A1 Next Thing I Know
A2 Anger
A3 Out Of Time
A4 Dark Clouds
A5 Speechless
B1 The Dragon
B2 Lonesome Road
B3 Midnight Show
B4 On That Day 


watch….
The Lone Crows ‎ “The Lone Crows” 2012 US Heavy Stoner Blues Rock 

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