Album Review: Lace Weeper – As The Crow Flies

Editor's Review
  • As The Crow Flies Review

Summary

'As The Crow Flies' features some brilliant tracks, but a formulaic approach hurts the album's quality overall.

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Lace Weeper formed in 2011, and have released an EP every year since then. Now, we look at their first full-length album, ‘As The Crow Flies’.

Wicklow is currently known as the hometown of Hozier, the international rock/blues singer. Musically speaking, that’s a pretty big accolade that the county should hold proudly. However, it seems as though Wicklow is also home to a hidden gem, a lesser known band that are quickly making waves around the country in the rock scene. Lace Weeper have four years of experience under their belt, along with three EPs, and earlier this year they launched their first full-length album – ‘As The Crow Flies’.

‘As The Crow Flies’ opens with ‘Hard Sell’, a song that introduces us to the world of Lace Weeper in one of the best ways possible. From the opening Jerry Cantrell-esque riff to the awesomely unique vocals, it’s instantly clear that these guys are confident in their ability to approach a style of rock that is rarely attempted nowadays – specifically in Ireland. To say that they do it well would be an understatement.

‘Pure’ opens almost too similarly to the first track, complete with a cool riff and a simple-enough drum fill. Putting two songs that start so similarly next to eachother on an album is a risky move, and it doesn’t really pay off to well here for the band as the song falls flat and just isn’t as musically interesting as its predecessor. Had it been given a chance to shine elsewhere on the album, it might have stood out a bit more, especially considering the great guitar solo towards the end.

Thankfully, the band change their songwriting formula when it comes to ‘Escape’. Everything here feels different to what was heard before this track, starting with the new found energy. It’s a welcome change, as the first and second tracks begin to drag after a few listens. As a song, ‘Escape‘ is noticeably different; the riff is a lot simpler, the drums are more bouncy and even the singing has become catchier. Once your done banging your head and grooving to the sweet outro, Lace Weeper pull the plug on the tempo with ‘Catch 22’.

‘Catch 22’ is probably my favourite song on the album. Here, we’re shown the bands’ ability to hold their own on a somewhat softer track than anything prior to it, and it’s just fantastic. Though more downbeat, the passion still remains strong. Sebastian Florek’s passionate vocals are simply stunning, showcased perfectly in this track.

Three songs later, ‘The Vice’ picks up the pace once again. This is one of those tunes that get better the louder you play it, which won’t be a problem as the raw riffs practically beg you to turn it up. The song comes to a pretty abrupt ending, which leaves you open for the vocal intro of ‘Red Tape’.

‘Red Tape’ is an odd one. I can only assume Lace Weeper were looking to mix tempos and drum beats to create a unique style, but I don’t think they achieved what they had envisioned. It comes across as a bit amateurish and forced, which is a huge shame considering the evident potential within the track. It’s always cool to see artists stray away from their comfort zones, but perhaps Lace Weeper strayed too far with this one.

‘In Midst The Water’ bring us back to the quality we were getting used to. This track revisits the grungey feel of the opening two songs, but capitalizes an awful lot better than they had. Armed with a cool, off-beat drum track and a heavy riff, this isn’t necessarily a stand-out track, but it’s a solid one that I’d love to see the band staple to their live sets. Following this is a stand out-track in the form of ‘Seven Dwarves’, in which Florek displays vocals very reminiscent of Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge fame. If you’re unsure of whether or not you want to invest in this album yet – this song almost makes buying the whole thing worth it.

Most of ‘As The Crow Flies’ follows a similar tone and rhythm to it, but Lace Weeper look to mix it up as they close the album with ‘Amends’. Although it is a ballad that could arguably be deemed similar to American “radio-rock” songs, it still comes across as unique in its own right – particularly due to the string section that enters after the first chorus. It’s definitely a nice touch for the band to show us a different side of them as they say goodbye, but the song itself isn’t brilliant by any means.

‘As The Crow Flies’ has some fantastic tracks in it, including ‘Escape’ and ‘Catch 22’, but they all seem to follow a similar formula, which gets old pretty fast and leads to a fairly hit-or-miss album for the most part. It is, however, extremely obvious that Lace Weeper have incredible potential. All four band members are damn good at what they do, and I can’t wait to hear what they have to offer us over the next few years.

 

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