Review by Martin McCann - New Hellfire Club
I like to go out my comfort zone now and then. It’s a good thing to do as a musician, take an interest in different music because inspiration can come from many different sources. When Jamie described KROW as ‘punk EDM’ and they themselves called themselves ‘electronica for devil worshippers’ I thought what the hell, let’s give it a bash. As there new release wasn’t quite ready I thought I’d have a look at their previous offering ‘KROMANCE’ released on Boudicca records.
This project has some history - KROW’s operatic singer was once the lead singer with the notorious ‘rockbitch’ and I don’t really need to go into the details here, but let’s say they had a reputation for putting on some memorable live shows! So straight away I’m intrigued. KROMANCE is a good introduction to the band with 5 tracks to get stuck into. First track ‘breathe when I can’ is surprisingly mainstream in its sound, with only the lyrics showing it’s dark edge.
Krow has a very distinctive voice, very suited to rock but with clarity and range. It sits well with the heavy synths and dance beat - we are off to a decent start. Next up is ‘preacher’. Not dissimilar in tempo and style to ‘breathe’ but a bit more open, leaving more space for the vocals. This wouldn’t be out of place in a Glasgow club - not as dark as the other tracks and a good chorus hook to boot. ‘Llama spit’ is a bit quirkier. Disjointed and stuttering, it’s held together with a vocal line that’s both menacing and sweet at the same time. And the crows at the start and finish work well - I like this one, the contrast keeps my attention. Fourth track ‘dagger in your side’ is the heaviest track on the ep. Cutting lyrics and driving rhythm go well with the music box feel of the verses.
Last track ‘hallelujah’ has a similar feel to ‘preacher’ but with a harder vocal delivery.
It keeps the electronic dance elements but is in its heart a rock song to me. So ‘punk EDM’? Yeah, it’s definitely punk in its delivery and subject, especially in the realms of EDM. There is attitude and anger bubbling under the surface and a barely concealed menace that gives KROW a unique spot in the genre. I’m not a big enough fan of dance music to be objective but I see the direction KROW are going here. It’s definitely danceable and mixes a heavier vocal style which isn’t normal associated with EDM.
She is a fantastic singer and this is a very well produced release showcasing her talent very well. My stand out track is ‘llama spit’ - I kept going back to it and discovered something different every time. Her voice benefits from the space in the track and it’s different from the other songs in a way that appeals to me. Variety is good - and challenging your perceptions is healthy. Go check out KROW on Facebook and look out for their new release ‘DEMON I’ coming out soon. ay it here.