Adulting. It’s coming for us all, but Pet Crow is here to make sure we have the proper tunes to dance away that existential dread…or at least take the edge off. Hailing from Derby, England, Pet Crow are set to release their second full-length album, Take the Edge Off, on February 7, 2020 via No Sleep Records.
The album opens with the punchy groove-driven song, “Limbo.” Grungy vocals and rock undertones lays a solid foundation upon which fresh, poppy riffs help to establish a punchy urgency that we’ve all “got to keep on pushing forward.” This lead track sets an interesting tone that continues throughout the album: We may not know exactly what the hell is going on, but we’re going to dance and sing until we feel better about it.
The first single released from Take the Edge Off, “What We Doin’?” is a great representation of the album as a whole. This track contains the clearest example of the Mod cultural influences as it bops along. Even if the lyrics lament about stumbling through life, we can at the very least stumble around to a killer soundtrack.
Take the Edge Off tackles issues relating to young adulthood including addiction, recovery, mental illness and even some more personal experiences like ADHD and OCD. In “NOCD,” listeners’ ears are blessed with groovy licks and dreamy riffs that set the scene for the lyricist’s battle with their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The disorder is personified in lyrics such as “she is stronger than you,” and “there’s no reason for you to stay,” making it a bit easier to grapple with and overcome.
Pet Crow’s unique style allows for many interesting tracks throughout the album. The beginning of “One Whole Summer” had me convinced I had fallen into a James Bond film, and the best I can explain “Insomnia” is if 90s garage grunge and 70s surf rock had a baby. And Pet Crow makes it WORK.
I especially enjoy the poignant storytelling in “Hostage.” This one begins with a sort of spacey, disorganized feel and eventually grows into a bouncy punk crescendo as our lyricist attempts to escape the cycle of addiction. The lyrics follow the growth from “I really want to change my ways…this is not me.” to a steady, strong-willed chorus with excellent riffage and the success of no longer being “caught up in a daze..I knew that this was not me.” Pet Crow’s ability to match the song’s musical cadence to the lyrical content is one example of this band’s natural knack for storytelling.
While certainly influenced by 1960s British Mod culture, Pet Crow adds post-punk power and grungy depth to create a sound I feel could be fairly described as post-grunge groove. With their second album, Pet Crow explores the facets of growing up and growing into your own skin. With the help of their groovy licks and dreamy grunge riffs, Take the Edge Off reminds us that even when life becomes daunting and overwhelming good tunes will always be around to help us keep going.