Better Off Dead LP

01. Dead Air (Rosbeg)
02. Suburbia Nervosa
03. Malediction II
04. Power Trip
05. Enter The Crownado
06. Better Off Dead
07. Guilt Trip
08. Earth Won't Listen
09. Malediction I
10. Death Crownado

Crows from Dublin absolutely bring some of the most satisfyingly crunchy hardcore I've heard in a long time. Ten songs of anger, power, mosh, breakdowns, singalongs that sound catchy and killer. I heard the singer once moshed through a wall, so I knew I had to release it.

Release date 01/01/15.

LP co-released with De Graanrepubliek and Distro-y.

Ltd. to 100 on red and 200 copies on black.

Crows | Aidan, David, Andrew, Anto, Sos | Facebook | Tumblr

Metal Ireland
No-one needs to be told that Ireland has a lot of societal problems. Now that the Republic’s economy is lurching back into zombie-like motion, some flapping heads are saying we’re on the up-and-up. Crows are here, in the form of ten pounding tracks, to remind us exactly how fucked we are. The band came to many people’s attention due to a minor tabloid feeding frenzy over a t-shirt they released a couple of years ago. Featuring deceased broadcaster Gerry Ryan, and the legend ‘Just Another Dead Junkie’, you had to admire the level of hate being directed at the parochial, two-faced aspects of this country. Down to the music. It’s been a while coming, this record, but the group have improved on the solid form suggested on their early demos. Clipped, heavy and hairy, the tracks get under your skin. There’s an immediacy about it that grabs you by the collar. Just listen to the powerful snap of ‘Suburbia Nervosa’ kicking in. Ever since this reviewer saw them bulldozing a shitty venue in Dublin some time ago, I’ve had high hopes for the album. Those have been realised in the form of no-hope anthems of sheer anger, which come in rapid succession. There’s enough bile here to give even the mighty Dystopia a run for their money. The guitar tone and the frantic vocals are the highlights. Alternating between an eyes-rolled-back scream and snarled curses, it’s refreshing to hear the lyrics so clearly amidst the heaviness. An ability to quickly shift and lurch into angular sounding breakdowns helps make it all the more absorbing. The utterly distorted bass is a joy to behold, constantly rumbling away behind proceedings. There’s variation in there too, with closer ‘Death Crownado’ shifting nicely from Cro-Mags stomp to a highly enjoyable stoner jam. It brings Sleep to mind, and comes as a fine conclusion to the record. Hardcore this enraged, bleak and heavy has to be appreciated. The fact that they’ve been able to keep the quality bar so high throughout is remarkable. Let it burn a hole in your mind some afternoon, when you’ve just fucking had it.

After listening to this album a couple of times I couldn’t help myself thinking: I know this band… After a while I realized I actually own a split 7” with Drainland (it’s been way to quiet around that band… do they still exist?). The band actually rerecorded the song Suburbia nervosa of that split for this LP. If you know that split you know what to expect from this band: dark energy flowing through your speakers, structured just enough to make it hit you in the face even harder. This band pummels through ten songs full of rage. It’s not that difficult to maintain a crazy level of rage on only one side of a 7”, keeping it interesting for an entire LP, that’s something quite different. On Better of dead Crows shows you it can be done: they refuse to back down and just keep on going until the record ends, leaving you numb. Only very little melody is added, but still the record is divers enough thus giving each song a character of it’s own. The lyrics are fitting for this type of music; sketching an extremely bleak view on life and nihilistic to the bone. Nothing really matters, everything sucks and as they put it on Enter the crownado: “…I’m not pro-anything anymore” and on both Power trip and Better of dead they conclude: “Better of dead”. These lyrics are blurted out in short bursts. Seven out of 10 songs don’t make the 2,5 minutes mark. Album closer is a strange beast though, lasting almost 10 minutes. You will not get bored during these 10 minutes as they are at least as intense as any other song on the album. On this song some stoner riffs are added to the mix, a welcome treat after so much violence. But don’t think this will last very long as the band shifts back to their natural habitat soon enough… This is one of the best dark records I’ve heard this year. If you are into some angry, dark music I suggest you do yourself a favor: get this!

Metal Injection
Hardcore/punk is a genre that can take a lot of time to evolve. It's something that moves (or rather evolves) extremely slow and is often more defined by its consistency and influence rather than its innovation. And while the genre has a million batting to its sound, it's the ones that harness it that really stand out amongst the lions in the game. Crows are a metallic hardcore band that sound a lot like Lights Out! if the riffage were more contained. Oh, I know that sounds like a slam to those that know what I'm talking about but it is anything but. Crows is something that sounds like it has more focus. While Lights Out! churned out some amazing tracks over the course of their short history (Overload is still amazing to this day) Crows push forward with a sound that is utterly restless without sounding like it's trying to be tougher than the toughest kid on the block. And here they are with their first full-length Better Off Dead. Maybe it's the fact that Crows sound a little more fed up and depraved than their contemporaries, but Better Off Dead is an album that has some serious attitude beyond the general qualms with life. It's the fiery riffage, it's the punchy drums, the groovy bass (seriously, listen to the bass on this album, it's excellent), it's the pissed off screams and shouts—everything that Crows throws itself at they flat out kill. If you threw together the sounds of Lights Out! (I know, again) with Burning Love you'd have Crows. The aggressive lyrical tendencies mixed with the groovy instrumentation makes for a fantastic record. It's not that Crows are original (far from it), they're just really good at what they do. Instead of becoming some innovative, hyper “I'm trying to be original” act, they walk into Better Off Dead with a “fuck it” mentality. Every track, every section of the album is the band simply doing what they do best: metallic hardcore. It's been said that this is the mosh album of the year. You know what? It just might be. Better Off Dead boasts ten tracks and starts off with a kick in the pants. A little feedback and then falls straight into a raging beat on “Dead Air (Rosenburg).” It makes you immediately question what the band would be like live. A wave of moshing and stage diving overtake the mind. Especially as the album works into the second track “Suburbia Nervosa.” a straight forward drive that might just breakdown the walls of your room. What Crows also do well is draw you into their circle. The honest, cynical lyricism and soundclip interludes add to the albums already withering woodwork. Hearing someone fess up and admit to the evil of their ways as a sobering effect to it. And listening to the despise of the general day job (yeah, I'm right there with you, man) is always a welcome shout. Or the tracks like “Enter the Crownado” fester with so much pent up rage and disdain that you can't help but wonder if they're going to finally break. The breakdowns on Better Off Dead are something of a wonder. I've read a few reviews that focus a lot on the breakdowns. Yes, they're there but Crows isn't 100 Demons or Full Blown Chaos. They're not a “drone on the lowest tuning possible” band. Their breakdowns are sometimes quick, sometimes drawn out. They're more punk than your typical hardcore or beatdown band. It's when you reach the final track “Death Crownado”, the nine-minute track, that you finally see what Crows capable of. The band slows down, speeds up, and thrashes as much as possible before going out on an excellent note. Crows offer nothing you haven't already heard before from the metallic hardcore/punk. They're chock full of breakdowns, pulverizing lyrics, and overall great presentation. Like Iron Reagan's The Tyranny of Will (which I absolutely loved), they're a band that just does everything right. If you enjoy a good piece of genre mayhem then Crows Better Off Dead is something you need to check out. One of the best contemporary hardcore/punk bands the genre has to offer. This is an absolute rager.

Puro Ruido
Translated: 7:30 a.m. of Sunday December 14, 2014. While waiting for the bus that takes me to my work (or rather, let me 2km from my job), I hear this full lenght of Crows. Some say that listening to a disc Hardcore at that hour of the morning, a Sunday, is not the most appropriate to start the day. I think so, because I not only active and energized me, but thanks to the disk, keeps me alert, awake. It is both the music and lyrics of these native of Dublin, make me think of how similar are all societies, how common problems facing all societies throughout the world, regardless of nationality, skin color, or whatever the fuck it. Greedy bankers, corrupt politicians, decadent society, loss of values, growth of ignorance, etc. Whether it's Ireland, Argentina, Nigeria and Jordan, everything repeats hopelessly, and the consequences are the same everywhere. Crows show you this reality, and are based on what is happening in their country, but rather could talk about any other country. Of course, for that message have the desired effect, the music should be the key tool to give an adequate framework. Crows know, so we throw an arsenal of Hardcore furious but not ultra-fast; There are passages in what is known as Beatdown Hardcore, with many middle-tempos, well marked some recesses, and accelerated never become very accelerated parties, but are fast enough to cause the listener feel the need to jump within the moshpit, real or imaginary. But the key to so much anger is not speed but the energy released songs, full of anger, true noise complaints thrown straight into the heart of a system that every day becomes more unjust and decadent. 10 tracks that do not let you get away for a second, and between which there are real missiles, such is the case of tracks like "Malediction II", "Enter The Crownado", "Power Trip" and the album's title track. There are similarities with the first Undertow, or with that great band called Trash Talk. But what matters is not the influences and similarities, but what is and says the band through this disc. And what they tell us is that we must react, fight, send everything to hell and not be trapped by killer claws of consumerism, stupidity and submission. Surely some of you believe that a Sunday morning is not the ideal time to think about these things. I say any time, any day, it is ideal for listening to records like this, and also to assimilate the message and go with the rage that transmit these Irish.