London’s Crows have an irrefutable reputation as lords of the stage. A fierce live presence bringing their emotive punk to life has long been the standout facet of the band. Touring relentlessly, recording in live venues, and building a devoted fan base across Europe was, for a while, the day-to-day for the dedicated four-piece and with that in mind, it came as no surprise that the past few years were a roadblock for them. Luckily, now able to revive an album crafted pre-pandemic, the band are ready to pick up where they left off, seemingly still at the top of their game.
Presenting ‘Room 156’, the second single from their upcoming sophomore LP, Crows have refined the blend of thrashing punk and towering melodies that set them apart from their peers. As dark, grooving drums herald in the track, it becomes hard not to be hypnotised into an acute trance. With grinding bass and sharp guitars locking into an enrapturing interplay, singer James Cox is able to guide listeners into the gloomy world of their album, Beware Believers. Providing respite in the choruses, though, the band give a glimmer of hope as the chords turn triumphant and Cox sings, “Broken things let the light in”.
In fact, it is exactly Cox’s lyricism and delivery that exemplify how much the band have grown. Taking from subject matters as varied as faith healers and murder hotels, ‘Room 156’ sees Cox punctuate the song with potent bursts of words. Melodic at times, stabbing at others, always authoritative, the vocals act like a flytrap, compelling you to get stuck in even if it distracts from all else. It seems that over the past three years, Crows have only gotten better at capturing their fervour and passion.
Words: Varun Govil // Photo: Jono White