Friday, October 21st, 2011

The Horrible Crowes – Behold The Hurricane

Gaslight Anthem singer makes a record with his guitar tech…


Anthony Easton: I really like the Gaslight Anthem, but the press release is that the Horrible Crowes are supposed to be Brian Fallon making music that is more cinematic. While this swoops a bit more, I guess, and the chorus is a bit recessive, it is slightly less than rock and roll, but slightly less rock and roll does not equal more cinema. It is a shame that Brandon Flowers solo album went kaput commercially, because it did what these (Okkervill River, Hold Steady, Gaslight Anthem) fellows want to do: mix rock and roll and movies, Steve McQueen and Bruce Springsteen, and other alpha butch rock and rollers with necessary bits of glam and camp — like currants in a particulary dense fruit cake.  

Brad Shoup: Endlessly downstroked guitar, over-apportioned vocals… I know Fallon’s testified to his desire to bring us Waits and Dulli, but based on the single, he comes bearing Flowers. I’m not a fan of these emo nostalgia summons that offer no details, just a clutch of tired similes, hoping we’ll feel like filling in the doomed lovers, the distant rooms, etc.

Jonathan Bogart: Cute short film. Pity about the soundtrack.

Hazel Robinson: “Brian is the best artist currently making music. Period.” reads the top YouTube comment on this song — if I now tell you that this is competent indie pop in the wake of the Arcade Fire and desperately trailing after the Hold Steady, from the makers of such luminary groups as the Gaslight Anthem (but wait, they did have that one song) then that’s a good indicator of what is going down. Oh, I don’t know — someone must like this kind of thing, but at the risk of signing myself up for an old person’s railcard, is it at all necessary when Bruce Springsteen is actually still going? 

Jer Fairall: “I age by years at the mention of your name” may be the least romantic lyric I’ve heard all year, and I mean that in the best possible way. A flashback to an old love should shed years off your life, not add to them, leaving the lyric’s central mystery a surprising and remarkably sad one. Other triggers include the season, the weather and yet another house, the second (figuratively) haunted one we’ve encountered here in as many months following Ben Folds Five’s similarly fraught “House.” Where Folds’s (still good) song was all done up in his usual ornate pop trappings, this one is ragged and cathartic, part of a lineage that stretches from Springsteen to the Weakerthans, wherein the deepest longings are best expressed amid the chug and howl of electric guitars somehow tuned to “melancholy.”

Edward Okulicz: There’s power in the bleak, and “Behold the Hurricane” harnesses it well. Brian Fallon has Springsteen’s tendency, if not quite his gift, for songs that walk the line between anthemic and painting dreams smashed on the rocks. The guitars chug, an “oh oh oh” hook is forced out, the mood is sombre and the lyrics here are just about worthy of being called poetry.

Jonathan Bradley: Not the storm but the aftermath. The Horrible Crowes appear at first  more modest and less substantial than Brian Fallon’s work with his regular band, the Gaslight Anthem, but prolonged examination reveals the emptiness results from everything that was there being blown away. “Behold the Hurricane” is a soft ache, a man pottering around a ruin, mourning “I don’t recognize myself.” The hook never grows beyond a measured chiming guitar, as if it were too defeated to culminate in one of the triumphant choruses with which Fallon is usually so adept. That’s its strength; the song resonates with emotion it daren’t enunciate.

Alfred Soto: The introduction reaches back into the mists of time — when Bloc Party and the Futureheads won the hearts of confused fans in 2005. The Gaslight Anthem singer has a fetching John Waite crag, but it’s not enough to render the title metaphor into the literal, and neither is an arrangement that’s all churn-no-burn.

2 Responses to “The Horrible Crowes – Behold The Hurricane”

  1. Brad–get out of my head

  2. nice