Unhorrible.

Almost three years ago, I posted about the Gaslight Anthem. At the time, I didn’t expand much on the band (it just wasn’t that type of website back then, y’know?), but it’s time to change that. Well, with the addition of a single line to set up this entry.

An American rock band from New Jersey, it’s interesting to hear lead singer Brian Fallon talk about his side project the Horrible Crowes (see? See how I did that?):

“As much as I have this fantasy in the Gaslight Anthem of being Bruce Springsteen , I also have this fantasy of being Tom Waits or Greg Dulli . These songs are very dark; they’re like hymns for lonely people, it’s really a trip through a breakdown and that dissent into madness and hopefully redemption.”

thehorriblecrowes

From the Horrible Crowe’s debut album, Elsie, I give you two stunning tracks – the more rock-oriented “Behold The Hurricane” and the acoustic “Black Betty & The Moon”.

The former, starting with a chorus of “Oh-oh-oh”s, a driving drum and guitar beat, but with a set of lyrics that are truly emotive (“I age by years at the mention of your name/You remember me my lover/I don’t recognise myself/I’m not the man you love/Behold the hurricane”) – a song of change and of loss, of longing, and, at 3:45, almost lost under a wall of noise, a song about realising that you’re not the person you once were, and through that, realising you’ve lost another (“At the door the leaves had fallen/Suddenly I realised that you were gone/Suddenly I realised that you were gone/Behold the hurricane”).

And the latter? One of the most haunting songs I’ve heard this year – a beautiful acoustic guitar-driven track, with little else than Brian’s voice, a couple of guitars and some background vocals, about watching someone you love, someone you’ve tried to help, ignore it all, and that feeling of helplessness as you watch, but can’t help (“You did the very thing, baby, that I asked you not to do/Now you got yourself caught in the silk spiderweb/I hope the money fills the holes, can see the roof is caving in”), with one of the most wonderful changes in song direction I’ve heard in some time at 1:40 – subtle, but so very powerful, adding another layer to the song – of being betrayed (“And better than described and deeper the descent/I never thought we’d have to learn to doubt our friends/And better than described, so much deeper the descent/I never thought we’d have to learn to doubt our friends”).

Don’t give up the day job? As much as I love the Gaslight Anthem, maybe Mister Fallon really should…

The Horrible Crowes are THAT good.

I remember everything we had
Every breath of this house creaking
I’m familiar with the cold and the windows and the doors
And the sound of my heart beating
Beating in and out of time

And it’s such a shame.
I heard the wind say this morning.
Be still my heart
I age by years at the mention of your name
What a pity this season
You remember me, my lover
I don’t recognise myself
I’m not the man you love
Behold the hurricane
Behold the hurricane

I walk around these empty rooms
We once moved like the morning.
Silhouettes they haunt this house like a memory haunts me now as if it were a dream
As if it were a dream

It’s such a shame
I heard the wind say this morning
Be still my heart
I age by years at the mention of your name
What a pity this season
You remember me, my lover
I don’t recognise myself
I’m not the man you love
Behold the hurricane
Behold the hurricane

I heard the moon has visions of her nightly
I heard the mighty rivers cry out her name
And I saw the heavens and the earth
Yes I saw the heavens and the earth cry over you

It’s such a shame
I heard the wind say this morning
Be still my heart
I age by years at the mention of your name
What a pity this season
You remember me, my lover
I don’t recognise myself
I’m not the man you love
Behold the hurricane
Behold the hurricane

At the door the leaves had fallen
Suddenly I realised that you were gone
Suddenly I realised that you were gone
Behold the hurricane

My love, my love, you’re the sting of the scorpion
Consider, now, the angels, a little lower than you
And they twist and they turn, and they hold their breath ’til it’s blue
And they can’t turn away like I can, when you’re lookin’ like you do

Looky Black Betty, what they’re tying to you
You did the very thing, baby, that I asked you not to do
And now you got yourself caught in the silk spiderweb
I hope the money fills the holes, can see the roof is caving in

My heart, my heart, you’re the moon and her shining light
Darkness and void of form, like you were keeping me alive
And I’ve been dreaming of poisonings from the venom of my enemies
Clever as the viper, dear, but gentle as a stampede of stones

Looky Black Betty, what they’re tying to you
You did the very thing, baby, that I asked you not to do
Now you got yourself caught in the silk spiderweb
I hope the money fills the holes, can see the roof is caving in

And they want you to doubt every trust that you’ve known
And they wanna find the holes in the armor exposed
And they come on whispering,
If you just do this for me…
And turn and show their teeth just before they’re sinking in
And better than described and deeper the descent
I never thought we’d have to learn to doubt our friends
And better than described, so much deeper the descent
I never thought we’d have to learn to doubt our friends

Looky Black Betty, what they’re tying to you
You did the very thing, baby, that I asked you not to do
Now you got yourself caught in the silk spiderweb
I hope the money fills the holes, can see the roof is caving in

Looky Black Betty, what they’re tying to you
You did the very thing, baby, that I asked you not to do
Now you got yourself caught in the silk spiderweb
I hope the money fills the holes in the place I used to stand

The Horrible Crowes – Behold The Hurricane

The Horrible Crowes – Black Betty & The Moon

www: The Horrible Crowes’ official website, Facebook Page, and MySpace.