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On disc: The Parlor Mob

And You Were A Crow - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

And You Were A Crow

And You Were A Crow
(Roadrunner Records - 2009)

The New Jersey outfit started as What About Frank? and they released in 2004 a self-titled album. In 2006 they changed their name to The Parlor Mob, named after a 19th century gang. Also in 2006 they released an EP, again they released it themselves. The New York Times as well as The Aquarian Weekly see them as the next big thing - and so Roadrunner let them sign the dotted line! The album And You Were A Crow was released in the US in 2008 and now about a year later it gets into the stores in Europe.
The opening of Hard Times reminds me of some old Alice Cooper tune, but then they show more a Led Zep type of rocker. And you will find more reminiscences to 70's rock, but they sound fresh and try to create their own style of their influences. A good opener! After the faster Dead Wrong they offer the slow Everything You're Breathing For, a beautiful balladesque rocker with a bluesy feeling. A boogie-sque rocker is The Kids, and it gets clear that this music is made for live performance! I bet, the songs can really shine live! And they have a good balance between rockers and balladesque tunes. At When I Was An Orphan they can really touch you. With acoustic guitars and the emotional vocals they give you shivers, but later in the song they add some power and despair. Angry Young Girl is another great rock ballad, but you can find some influences of 70's prog rock here, too. A heavy up-tempo rocker with a catchy hook is Carnival Of Crows! One of the highlights - and so much fun! At the slow, bluesy Tide Of Tears the guitarists David Rosen and Paul Ritchie have the chance to show in jam parts their skills - and they do have talent! Mark Melicia sounds a lot like Robert Plant, but it seems natural and so it doesn't matter. With the rocker Bullet they have a song which is perfect as a closer for a show, but here it get followed by the bluesy tune Can't Keep No Good Boy Down. Its like the guys hang out together and one picks up an acoustic and they start jamming... having a good time. And actually this is what you get, an album to have a good time with! Well done!
The 70's rock sounds authentic, but I think that Mark Melicia's vocals some will find annoying, but some say this about Robert Plant too... But the youngsters can really rock and they can deliver emotional balladesque tracks! So check out: Hard Times, Everything You're Breathing For, Bullet and Carnival Of Crows.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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