The strangest piece of music can always come at you and give the listener a bit of interest to see what is about to come next. It can be psychedelic, nightmarish, avant-garde, shoegaze, or jazz, it does not matter. What matters is what would happen if the five genres are combined into a full circle and it's an adventure into the other worlds of what is to come next. And the next thing, is that it has taken my ears into another level. And the level is a six-piece group from Chicago named Crown Larks.
Formed three years ago, Crown Larks are this bizarre combination between Wooden Shjips, Amon Duul II, Gong, Can, the Post-Rock sounds of the late '70s, free jazz, and Space Rock pioneers, Hawkwind. They released their EP back in 2013 entitled Catalytic Conversion. But when I first heard their Music, I was taken aback from what I was hearing. It was almost as if it was recorded back in 1975 and almost completely forgotten about. But the moment I heard their debut album, Blood Dancer, it was almost as if it was twisting the sounds and having a freak-out adventure into the cosmos with four centerpieces.
The band considers Lorraine Bailey on Keyboards, Clarinet & Vocals, Jack Bouboushian on Guitar, Bass, Sleep Machine, Pedals, and Vocals, Bill Miller on Drums, Peter Gillette on Trumpet, Flugelhorn, and Party Favor, Chris Boonenberg on Sax and Piano, and Kevin Ohlau on Saxophone and Flute. Chapels , an ominous laid-back spacey waltz That Jack really nails Into His vocals as if it was using an echoplex for the first minute and fifty seconds in the realms of Radiohead's Kid A- era and then the Electric Piano comes into place for a slowed down beat and then it Becomes a frenzy.
Lorraine goes into town on the Electric Piano in the styles of Joe Zawinul and Chick Corea as the swirling noises of guitars going into different feedback vibrations and Miller's drumming goes into Those areas in Fusion techniques of Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford before they head back into the final waltz. Fog, Doves is a darker and sinister composition as Lorraine and Jack take turns with vocals.
And flutes, saxes in throwing out of nowhere That give it the vibration of not seeing anything in the atmosphere while descending Blood Mirage goes from a slowed-down rhythm into a lightning speed of Space Rock Jazz evokes the essence of the golden-era of Hawkwind , Canterbury scene, and the sax section reminiscing of King Crimson.
The closing track, Overgrown, goes into a moving sermon That Jack is nailing His vocals through the double-tracking sounds whilst the organ gives it a chilling mourning before the droning sound kicks in with the haywire effects that makes it a chilling finale. I have enjoyed this album so far about four times now and I have to say that Crown Larks really know what they are doing.
I have to admit, it’s not an easy album to listen to, but they have got something up their sleeves with their Psychedelic Post-Rock adventures. If you admire the Experimental, Space Rock, Jazz Rock, and the golden era of the ‘70s of both prog and post-punk, then enjoy the sonic adventures of Crown Larks.