Dr Crow – The Good and the Bad – Album Review

The Good and the Bad

Aching for a portion of sour ‘gator soup? Are your teeth blackened by tobacco? Is the corn-bread still warm on the side? Too much water in the ravine to work today?
Then grab yourself a bottle of old Tennessee sour-mash from the locker, and settle down on the porch to soak up some Southern rock vibes with this fine and dandy album from the hustling boogie-blues band called Dr Crow (formerly MelonHeadMan).

Kicking off with “Voodoo Lover” where a muscular guitar slinks and writhes around the Stonesy verse. And Simon Savage’s voice (lead vocals and guitar) reminds me of Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter or sometimes even David Bowie. Natty drums from Sam Woods on percussion and simple bass beats from Tim Farmer (bass guitar) go perfectly well with the chug-along rhythms and neatly placed honky-tonk keyboards from Mike Emery.

My favourite track is the title song “The Good and the Bad”. A deliciously raw opening soon transcends into clean, orderly, seventies style verses and catchy arrangements.
Beware,though, this song incorporates some very heavy portions. Just like mama’s jambalaya!  And in the midst of all that glittering and stylish guitar-work from Savage and the Lynyrd Skynyrd end-piece, there is a rebel-flag waving, black-oak-hickster of an anthem just yelling and hollering to get out and shout freedom. And can you hear the early Queen influence?  Of course you can! Yeeha!

“Bad Bob” is one of the many superb songs on the album. Jangling guitars and plucked strings are rippled with tinkling ivories, reminiscent of warm summer nights in Memphis and splashing about in the creeks with your buddies. And “Crowville” has a progressive metal vibe and some complicated fretwork. “13th Floor” is a keystroke led song about confinement and breaking out. “Firewater Jesus” is a classic boogie-woogie star-spangled banner waving  song. You’ll burst out at midnight and start shuffleboard skiffling to this one!

“Senor De La Fuga” is the kind of track you would expect in the next Tarantino film. A zippy trilling party piece. Reminding me a lot of Alice Cooper’s “Raped and Freezin’” I guarantee you that your chihuahua will be yelping to this sunny stuffed taco of a song -way into the night.

“Going Down South” is one of a few tracks that could do with a little light backing vocals from a trio of señoritas. And “Hey Baby” is a dry as an Agave desert-scape and as dusty as the Sierra punch-bowl. This song is a spiny cactus of a creature – and has a scorpion’s sting in its tail. “Mrs Banker” is another Bowie-esque type song (can you hear the Ziggy Stardust influence?) This is a love (hate) song dedicated to those rich and plump ‘readers-wives’  who have the pompous audacity to look down their long hairy noses at us down-at-heel menfolk!

A great album from this Kent based (Tonbridge, UK) five-piece boogie metal band. A Real Humdinger!   Catch ‘em live as soon as you can.

© Neil_Mach
June 2011

Dr Crow
SavageActs Records/ Cargo Records
(Formerly called MelonHeadMan)

Learn more here: http://www.myspace.com/melonheadman

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