It’s entirely understandable that touring bands who put records out in 2020 need another swing at getting their record to go over. I don’t usually go a bundle on bands following their latest album a few months later with an expanded edition. If you’ve had it a decade or so that’s a bit different. In 2021 though I will not be churlish. Anyway a band who depend on the live area to keep themselves alive have clear reasons to get back in front of their audience anyway they can.
I really liked Point Of No Return. It was one of my favourite heavy rock records of last year. I only know about this band because I was privileged enough to see them live in 2020. Pretty much a whole year ago. I posted about it in my end of 2020 round up. I chose a different track then (Set in Stone) but Sin On Skin could just have easily been the one I went for. It’s a full on belter of an arena rocker just looking for a lit stage to rampage around. Or at least it was on the original album take.
The wisdom will tell you if you strip away all of the genre trappings and production trickery from a record and just play the chords on an acoustic guitar or a piano then you know if you’ve got a decent song or not. Well, take the bluster and fuster away from Sin On Skin and you have a powerhouse of a track still. Sat at a piano with only two thirds of the original tempo it’s clear this is a big old bag of beefy flavoured rock shapes straining to burst free of its packet. I do not know why I am comparing this song to a pub snack except to say it’s been a year since I’ve seen either and …I want it, I want it. I’ve Waited I’ve Waited. I Feel It I. WANT. IT.
Bridgend belter Shane Greenhall’s Welsh hair metal voice is just as full over the mournful ivories as it is over power chords. There’s haunting backing vocals and a subtlety the band seldom (but not never) show when they’re in head down rock out mode. The song is allowed to build over what can only be described as an Evanescent refrain until the I feel it, I feel it chorus is felt in the very toes of the listener. I wanted to grab my jacket and head off to The Black Heart. But… It’s 2021. And that’s all in the past. For now.
This would sit very nicely next to Disturbed’s take on The Sound Of Silence and the H.I.M Gothpop take on (Don’t Fear) The Reaper. The fact it’s an original song being compared to heavy weight acts playing legendary songs is no accident. Those Damn Crows write the sort of material that feels like it has always belonged to the rock crowd. In a rock scene that has these guy, Massive Wagons, Nova Hawks and The Bastard Sons. I’m itching to get back there.
The great thing about Those Damn Crows is they don’t belong to a moment. Rock fans are known for their loyalty. To a sound, to the genre and to their bands. The momentum loss of the pandemic will not hurt them in the long run. They need to survive the now, just like the rest of us. When the time comes they’ll be welcomed back to the stage like they never missed a day because rock is eternal and they are past The Point Of No Return.