With north London’s Crows, patience is a virtue. The quartet are one of the UK’s most brutal and brilliant live bands, guitarist Steve Goddard, bassist Jith Amarasinghe and drummer Laurence Rushworth deploying throbbing garage-psych while frontman James Cox eyeballs the crowd with a fierce intensity that feels like he’s staring into your soul. But if you want to pick up their records and take their fearsome noise into your front room, you’ll have yourself a bit of a wait.
Last single ‘Pray’ was put out a little under a year ago, and since then all’s been quiet. Their debut EP ‘Unwelcome Light’ (out March 25 via Telharmonium) changes all that though. Five tracks recorded live and designed to segue seamlessly into each other, it’s not only the biggest release Crows have done, but also their finest – a mini masterpiece of howling garage riffs and subjects varying from “floods in America” and “how fucked the snakeskin trade is, from the point of view of the snake”.
Recorded with Adam Jaffrey (Ekkah, Best Friends), the process behind the EP was fittingly intense. “I did all my vocals in a pitch black corridor because I wanted to get the reverb from it, which sounds great but I was literally singing in pitch black for 25 minutes,” James says.
At the end of the month, the band will support Wolf Alice at London’s Forum. For a group who thrive off the kind of sweaty, rabid intimacy you only usually find in small venues, they’re remarkably unfazed by the prospect. “It just means there’s more people to get around with my stare”, says James with a shrug, but don’t expect to be let off lightly.
CROWS: THE DETAILS
FOR FANS OF Metz, The Wytches
FACT The band are prone to injury, with Laurence playing with a broken hand for three months before having a metal plate fitted and James breaking his hand by punching a velvet curtain-covered wall during a gig.
BUY The ‘Unwelcome Light’ EP is released March 25 via Telharmonium
LIVE London The Forum, March 26
Glasgow Broadcast, March 28
Manchester Gullivers, March 29
London The Lexington, March 30
Leeds Headrow House, March 31
Bristol Louisiana, April 1
Birmingham Sunflower Lounge, April 2
London Fields Brewhouse, April 29