CROWN LARKS “Blood Dancer” C39
(Already Dead Tapes)

Make no mistake, Chicago’s Crown Larks have their credentials to certifiably Rock the Fuck Out, sure, but their true mastery of technical skill and composition comes out most strikingly in their slower moments. Note, I cannot in good conscience say ‘calmer’, as the entire tape could easily be a concept album of being stuck in a Really Bad Situation, with the task of walking NYC’s back alleys from dusk until dawn, nervously ambling past packed nightclubs, wo/men of the night, hobo fights, junkies making their final flight, distant ambulances constantly howling from just within earshot. This whole dis-ease is ubiquitous throughout these seven songs (only one of which falls markedly short of the five minute mark) and, damn, if it ain’t every bit as moody as blackmetal… but far more dynamic, really, like holding your hand through a darkened-rainbow-slew of varying panic attacks and near kidnappings, until some pinks tint the smog overhead and your halfway house is just around the corner.

Thoroughly enjoyable, if not a bit nerve wracking. Do yourself a favor and carve out some time to have a good sit with the entirety of it (via the bandcamp link below), as a cursory scanning won’t do it any justice.


- - Jacob An Kittenplan