Label: Barely Regal Records
We’ve all got an idea in our head of what kind of music we like. For some people, it’s a pretty eclectic list; for others, they’re happy to stay within a few genres or styles. It’s an inevitable consequence of there being so much music out there, but sometimes, genre tags can work against a band. Crows An Wra are a case in point. Does the thought of space-prog-screamo sound appealing to anyone? Probably, but it’s just as likely to turn as many people off. Which is a shame, as Kalopsia is an undeniably unique yet thoroughly engaging, entertaining, and invigorating album that isn’t nearly as aimless or confused as the genre labelling might have you think.
Instead, what Crows An Wra have recorded is an album that is surprisingly focused. For sure, there are plenty of strange turns and countless ideas bouncing around – such as the dub-meets-post-rock sounds on second track ” Perseus”, or the acoustic “Heavy Heads (i)” which flows in to the powerful “Blossom (ii)”, not to mention lots of twists and turns, stops and starts of tempo throughout the album – but they are all done with a clear focus. Built upon a solid layer of rather technical screamo, with more than a hint of the louder end of indie rock, all these ideas come together to create an album that knows what it wants to achieve. Kalopsia is restless not because the musicians involved are unsure about what they are creating; rather, it is full of restless energy because you sense that the band knew they had come up with something pretty special, and that they had to play these songs for their own well-being. It’s too rare these days to hear an album that has that sense of desperation, but Kalopsia has it to spare, infecting the listener with a sense that you shouldn’t just be sat at home listening to these songs. It’s music that demands reaction, as all the best punk rock does, and is sure to get one.
As any regular reader is sure to know, I’m no fan of experimentation just for the sake of it, and this should be kept in mind when reading this review. Creativity is all well and good, but if the end result isn’t interesting, then what’s the point? Well, Crow An Wra are a creative band for sure, but what’s more important is that, in Kalopsia, they have created a hugely impressive record. It might take a few listens to get your head around, but it’s more than worth the effort. If the idea of a band blending the first Mars Volta album, Fugazi, and a half dozen indie and underground emo bands neither you or I have heard of sounds interesting, then Kalopsia will be right up your street. And even if it doesn’t, then you’d be well advised to check it out anyway, as staying strictly within genre boundaries when determining what you listen to is for chumps, and no words can adequately describe just how creative and impressive a listen Kalopsia is.
Kalopsia can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp, as well as purchased on vinyl (limited to 300 copies).