Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Black Crowes - Croweology
Silver Arrow

Well, well, well weeeell well, I guess it's 2010 & so la Crowe Bro's (cos it ain't a Ruseell Crowe covers album, just to get kak joke pointlessly aired & right out the way with a curt Chris backhand & Rich curtsy) continue corralling la differences into distances for this surely not coincidental acoustical back-porch, main bar, side street honk through their (largely) early catalogue to commemorate the two decades since their marvellous admittance to stages & hearts of SHAKE YOUR MONEY MAKER. It's a mellower, maturer reflective crawl - with added (many, too many) meanderings - which isn't always a good thing, being that some (eg Ballad In Urgency, Wiser Time, Good Friday) were stony enough in the first incarnations & the Stonesier ones (Jealous Again, Hotel Illness, Downtown Money Waster) however still-enjoyable they are here, could still stomp more acoustic or not (hazy memory heralds the acoustic Jealous Again, b-side of something or t'other, p'raps Hard To Handle) though there's never any denying the authentic sweet home soul & bitter swings they bring in even their bus-ticket pocket. Tis just as was signposted on third album AMORICA their indulgent side is a cross bigger than Brazil they brandish on their backs with Baptist relish. There's only Welcome To The Good Times from BY YOUR SIDE , an album they seemed to dismiss themselves but I remember fondly, being a fan of band-derided albums (rocket forth THE PRIMAL SCREAM, top of an occasional list - which on no account covers Rolling Stones albums, except maybe BETWEEN THE BUTTONS - by far their best output by anyone's shades & smack habits). While none of it - bar the breakdown boogiebilly interlude on Morning Song (still unsurpassable from it's SOUTHERN HARMONY blast-off) -comes near the mainly blistering originals, veering too easily into over-accomplished vague-ness with any real transcendent rawness ironed out, the ardent will adore it as the devout do, anyone else should get that box-set of a few years ago, chuck the SNAKES album & worship Johnny Colt's hat. Age may bias me but held against any currently revered denizens of planet denim-rock this still wins for leisurely homely, or -looking, Sundays, always drunk or not.
Stu Gibson
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