By Jordan Mooney.
As the new year is now rolling into full force after giving itself a hangover and sickness from an excessive pizza binge, we find ourselves getting increasingly busy and our feature requests becoming increasingly far flung! Today, we travel all the way to Spain, to review a new release from an equally new band.
Today’s group, ladies and gentlemen, is Crow Jane, a group hailing from Sunny Valencia, with their first ever long playing record, ‘Contradiction‘. Contradiction is a very unusual little piece that prompts discussion purely from the idea behind it.
Contradiction is very much as the name says on the tin – each track deals with the concept of looking at the two sides of everything. It deals with looking at the light that exists in the darkness of every situation – and vice versa. It all deals on the same subject, retreading until the album’s point is a ‘state of mind’ rather than a concept release. It plays with the idea that this journey can be taken in any order, as no matter how much you experience something, you’ll always start from square one regardless – you can’t land in the middle of a situation. It deals with the idea that it takes about four minutes for the human eye to adapt to the darkest of nights – which, coincidentally, is the length of a song…
The result is a fascinating record, but one that doesn’t threaten.
Despite a very heavy piece of workmanship in the concept and a very weighty idea, the album doesn’t try to smother or bury itself in it – it doesn’t try to produce inherent darkness or inherent light – it remains a very accessible middle point. This works on two levels – for a start, it shows a very neutral point for the band itself. It doesn’t wrap itself in either argument.
What on Earth am I talking about? Well…
A lot of music on Cat on the Wall is a very dramatic sort of extreme – I’m sure you’ve all noticed this.
When an idea is insanity, the musicians will go deep, deep into insanity. When an idea is darkness, the album ends up producing a sticky black gunk from the speakers.
This is not to say this is a bad thing. We love it! We love extremes, but a lot of people may not, and at the same time, we find immense appeal in the idea of discussing a thought, a concept, without overbearing the listener. And I think that these extremes can sometimes mean a lot of excellent music with strong concepts and ideas goes unnoticed.
This makes Crow Jane’s album all the more enjoyable – the music is accessible for everybody, really, and as a result, so are the concepts, the thoughts, the brilliance that makes the album what it is.
This is particularly noticeable in the combination of our vocals, provided by Jordi, whom has a gravelly, deep but still very sensitive style, combined with soft, pleasant music, provided by Manuel on the guitar (sharing duties with Jordi), Edgar on the drums, and Lucas on the bass.
This album is, simply, a joy to listen to. It’s no less than really pleasant music, nonthreatening but continuously evocative and with a surprisingly catchy sort of idea. It’s not offensive, it’s not actively dark and brooding nor actively light and happy with flowers and butterflies and that..rubbish. Once you listen to the music properly, it’ll produce a re-listen. Then another, then another.
Ultimately, Crow Jane make for an infectious combo, and for a group’s first release, it’s an impressive sort of LP.
I can’t say it’s groundbreaking. The ideas are all there, present and correct, and all available for looking into, the music is catchy, well written and nicely produced, and the vocals are of a fine standard, but I believe the group is only just getting started. I don’t think they’ve quite produced the epitome of their idea or concept as of yet, and if anything that gets me a little excited.
I firmly believe this release is more of an introduction, a sort of access piece to what the group is going to be capable of. This is, after all, a band of like minded people already producing a high level of music with some ideas and concepts that really do raise some questions. It’s an excellent recipe and a fantastic start.
I, personally, can’t wait to see more from Crow Jane – and I hope you all raise the effort to give them a listen and take an interest.
Crow Jane will be releasing their first full length studio album in February 2014 on Spanish Label Nevada Music. Their first music video is to be released later this month, and on the 7th of February the album will get its first ‘launch’ gig, alongside Nixon and Ambros Chapel, at Valencia’s Black Note Club.
The band’s only just getting started up, so don’t expect much in the way of press, or even in terms of English discussion. You will, however, be able to follow dates on the band’s social network page. It’s genuinely all go at the moment – give them some time and now doubt they’ll be travelling across Europe!
Crow Jane’s Official Facebook
Nevada Music’s Official Facebook