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Lone Crows; The: Live At Freak Valley Festival

Using the Freak Valley Festival, held annually in Germany, for the culmination of the 2014, and first European tour, The Lone Crows decided to document the occasion and release a brief, but beastly live album of beautifully battered blues. This is potent stuff, energy crackling from the speakers as the foursome dig some deep grooves and work up one hell of a sweat. Seven songs come and go too quickly, the biggest surprise the apparent youth of the four guys pictured in the booklet; the presumption that The Lone Crows are a seasoned bunch of gnarled blues-mongers blown clean from the water as their eponymous opening number sets a scene through abused cymbals, powering riffs and confident vocals.

There's no denying we've heard this tale over and over. The groove, the riff, the vocal and the rhythm all straight from the book of this is how to brings blues to rock and yet there's a grungey undercurrent which alongside the sheer energy that cracks and pops throughout, makes for a true 'wish I was there' album. The sound is full and meaty and being able to hear the hum and crackle coming from the amps merely adds to the incendiary attitude rushing towards you. "Next Thing I Know" offers up a little more in refinement, and yet even here when the groove is found and sat on with real force, you can't help but nod in both approval and enthusiasm. "Anger" proves to be surprisingly contained, but as the set builds towards it's conclusion, "Speechless" demonstrates a maturity that you wouldn't expect from a band so young, before "The Crawl" - a song about being eaten alive by a giant lizard (obviously...) steamrolls itself into your memory.

I haven't encountered The Lone Crows before, but on this evidence, I need to catch them live before picking up the self titled debut and Dark Clouds follow up. For now, it's heartening to know that Freak Valley Festival was served up such a potent brew from a band of such meagre years.

Track Listing
1. Introduction
2. Lone Crow
3. Next Thing I Know
4. Anger
5. The Dragon
6. Dark Clouds
7. Speechless
8. The Crawl

Added: October 9th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Lone Crows on BandCamp
Hits: 1425
Language: english

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