Friday, April 3, 2015

Craw - Live at The Brighton Bar, Logbranch NJ - 06-08-96

Label: Bandcamp
Year: 2015

By now maybe you have heard about a Kickstarter campaign that aims to release the first three Craw albums on double vinyl? Have you? The initial version of that campaign didn't hit its goals (cause the world is mostly Philistines), but they are regrouping  and will be launching a second version on Kickstarter soon that you should look into. I mean, if you're here, you should be there too.

So, in the run up to that box set, the impetus behind the project, a guy named Hank Schteamer has put up a Bandcamp page with some Craw material to get the proverbial juices flowing, and my own personal juices (gross...sorry) get the most flowing (again...just nasty) over this live set from 1996 in N.J. Craw material is so tough to come by, that a fully intact show of better-than-average bootleg sound quality, well, that's just some of that ole manna from heaven shit, isn't it? Getting to hear the band twist, turn and squeeze every last ounce of power out of the 35+ minute set is a genuine treat. Honestly. I only got to see the band once, and maybe in was 1996, I can't really remember the date, but I do remember being in awe that they could muster up so much intensity and brawn in a tiny room in front of a small and (as was typical of a college town crowd on a weeknight) mostly ambivalent audience. The music comes across so percussive in nature, the song dynamics push you back and forth, and those vocals...those are an instrument in and of themselves. Lyrically, it's as if that weird old Vietnam Vet homeless dude is berating you with his conspiracy theories about "bugs" and whatnot on the street corner, but sonically he wails and groans and barking take on a musicality that accentuate the bombast the band provide. It's truly an incredible mix of performers, the likes of which are seldom seen. Like, you could say, "Dude, Craw was super good, let's write some songs that sound like they did", and you would never even come close. Nobody could. They had an aura about them that you can't duplicate, not that you should anyway, but it would never sound the same. It boggles the mind how Craw as slipped through the cracks. It's criminal.

If you agree, then you need to hope on the boxset bandwagon and keep the Craw fires burning bright.


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