Crawlers – ‘Loud Without Noise’ review: confident, cool and exhilaratingly real

The debut mixtape from the Liverpool band proves that they have a knack for making even quiet moments feel huge

A whole generation of rock bands have emerged in the last few years thanks to being able to gain an audience online, and Crawlers are part of those previously underrepresented voices revitalising the genre. Despite being at the start of their career, they’ve already reached astounding heights: after building a sizeable following on TikTok, in May, they opened up for  My Chemical Romance at their Warrington show. It was a fitting gig, given that Crawlers’ soaring highs and gut-wrenching melodies make them feel very much like successors to the emo legends.

While Crawlers’ earlier material mostly stuck to a straight-forward electric guitar and bass-heavy sound in the vein of Royal Blood, the Liverpool band’s new, more expansive direction pays off on their debut mixtape, ‘Loud Without Noise’, where they blend the sweeping drama of current pop singer-songwriters like Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray with a gnarly rock punch. ‘I Don’t Want It’ accelerates with urgency while staying in that pop-rock sweet spot, before ‘Too Soon’ plays with nu-metal effects. Slow-building ballad ‘Hang Me Like Jesus’, meanwhile, steers even further into this new territory, with its flourishes of delicate acoustic guitar.

Often, the songs build steadily to a point of catharsis, punctuated by vocalist Holly Minto’s delivery, which conveys raw desperation: “I can’t even drive / I just needed something to romanticise / My desperate life,” they belt on ‘I Can’t Drive.’ This directness serves them well, especially when it comes to more complex and fraught issues like consent and sex on ‘Fuck Me (I Didn’t Know How To Say)’, where Minto sings over scuzzy guitars: “I said it was fine in your defence / I didn’t know how to say I don’t want you to touch me.”

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‘Loud Without Noise’ covers a lot of ground – including relationships, mental health, and social inequality – with the songs working on two levels. Minto often addresses an issue on a broader scale, while also tying it to personal experience: “My mother lost her accent to make us seem smart / Man, she worked so hard that I even forgot,” they belt on the punk-inspired ‘Feminist Radical Hypocritical Delusional.’ The track is evident of how Crawlers embody what it means to be a young band for the current moment – fluid in style, chronically online and willing to take on difficult subjects in a thoughtful way.

Details

crawlers mixtape

  • Release date: November 4, 2022
  • Record label: Polydor

 

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