The Muddy Crows goes for classic sound with their powerful self-titled debut. Blending the old and the new in equal measure, their storytelling ability recalls Tom Waits, as do the raw intensity of the vocals. Everything has a welcoming, soothing quality to it. Volume deserves to be blasted for there is a rustic charm to their sound. Elements of classic rock, folk, and the blues comes together in a vast colorful way. Melodies have a rich, lived-in quality to them while the rhythms careen in just the right way with the whole thing swinging along just perfectly. At times the melodies even recall the Beatles’ warm impulses.
Nicely opening up the EP is the lovely “Straight Crazy”. With a bit of playfulness, the whole piece has a tropical, laid-back fervor to it. Riffs feel so inviting, as do the wonderful vocals. Slowing things down a bit “Quarter Past Four” has a late-night vibe to it as the song expands into the infinite, as the drums go for a slightly jazzy quality to keep the sound nimble. Defiance reigns supreme on the EP highlight, the intense rush of “Jezebel” where they prove to be master storytellers. Perfectly concluding everything is the gorgeous pop confection of the piano-led “Anywhere But Here” where they let it all sprawl in a way that feels reminiscent of Jon Brion’s joyful output.
Done with the utmost of perfection, the Muddy Crows make their debut strong-assured, confident, and drawing liberally from the past while pointing towards the future.