Crow Bait

Crow Bait
“Sliding Through The Hall Of Fate” LP/CD (Don Giovanni Records) 2014
By Rich Cocksedge

It seems a while now since I first heard Crow Bait on the band’s debut 7” and checking out that passing of time it’s actually around two and a half years.  The band hasn’t been the most prolific in the intervening years but then it has been more of a side project with members of the band also being involved in the likes of Iron Chic and Sister Kisser to name but two.  In that time the only other releases I’m aware of are two tracks on a split with NONA and one track contributed to a Hüsker Dü tribute 7” – definitely the case of a band with little time at their disposal.

However, Crow Bait have obviously been beavering away in order to bring us the debut album, Sliding Through The Hall Of 10256834_1053085094752324_7463237386868699311_nFate, which is a beautifully crafted piece of work with a lushness that wraps itself around you in an instant, and sticks around long after the record has played out.

Many write ups about the band mention two bands, Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, when giving some insight into Crow Bait’s sound and they’re not bad reference points for small elements of what is heard on the album.  I find that across a dozen tracks Sliding Through The Hall Of Fate provides a varied listening experience that is structured around a sound that could easily be linked back to the 1980’s when the aforementioned bands were in their prime.  There’s definitely some sort of homage to the late 1980’s / early 1990’s going on be it intentional or not and it’s that quality that allows the songs to generate a warmth in me as I listen to the waves of music crashing over me.

Even though the guitar is a prominent part of what Crow Bait is about, it seems as if there is more cohesion between the three instruments than some bands manage.  Everything seems to come together in perfect harmony, be it on stretched out tracks such as the meandering “A Billion Lives” and the languorous “Ancient Eyes” or “Gran-Saloon”, the briefest song on the album which still manages to make a significant impact despite clocking in at just a minute and a half.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this album is.  It’s no one trick pony, in fact there are many tricks to be found within Sliding Through The Hall Of Fate all of which give me cause to revel in the sumptuous melodies that are rife throughout the record.