In a recent interview for Uncut magazine Brian Fallon (lead singer of Springsteen-acolytes The Gaslight Anthem and leader of this new project) described how his goal with forming The Horrible Crowes was to update blues & soul music for this new generation. A generation which, ironically enough, has certainly had it's fair share of 'traditional' blues singers such as the late Amy Winehouse or the recent output of welsh songstress Duffy (not in the Muddy Waters sense of blues tradition admttedly, but lets not be too pedantic shall we?). If this was his goal then he is to certainly be applauded for ambition, even if sometimes he does fall a little short of anything approaching a 'revolution' in modern blues.
The 'modern' blues that I speak is of The Afghan Whigs & The National variety. So expect lots of slow-building numbers punctuated with chest-rousing finales & moments of reflection, all delivered with a level of pin-point precision that would make an X-Factor song-writer blush. Tracks such as 'Behold The Hurricane' and 'Go Tell Everybody' take this precision to excess levels and become a little too predictable & fall back onto the same 'one trick pony' sound that has sometimes plagued The Gaslight Anthem in the past. But when Fallon hits a high note, he can certainly hit hard & true. 'I Witnessed A Crime', 'Cherry Blossoms' and 'Ladykiller' are exlempary examples of the type of lounge-lizard blues that Greg Dulli & co where pedalling in their mid-ninety's heyday. Fallon perfectly captures that sleazy zeal that made so many Afghan Whigs & Mark Lanegan so irresistible.
Overall this is a mighty fine album and promises a lot from any future work Fallon and Ian Perkins (the other driving force behind this project) decide to create in the future.