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EP Review: The Crimson Star – New Road

I will be the first to admit that I am a little late to the party on this one, as this record has been doing the rounds since last summer. But I got there in the end so don’t judge me… ok.

As is often the case I first saw these guys play when I had gone to a gig to watch someone else, but that night I have to say that they were fantastic. You only get one shot at a first impression and I definitely liked what I heard. I have since seen them perform again and they proved that that well-polished effort at the back end of last year was no fluke. And so it came to pass that I am sat here with the band’s debut EP in my hot little hands, and here is my verdict.

I am pleased to report that this is a very very good record. There are no frills, no complications; it’s just simply a brilliant hard rock record.

The EP kicks off with title track ‘New Road’ which provides the perfect introduction to what this band are all about. It fires straight into life with a big rock riff taking centre stage before the vocal hits, a vocal that wouldn’t sound out of place fronting a lot of ‘grunge era’ bands from the early 90’s. It’s got that forced feel to it, think parts of Nirvana ‘In Bloom.’ (Before you get on your high horse I’m not comparing the bands just saying that bits of the vocal style are similar)

‘Hey You’ has more of a traditional hard rock feel. The band lists Foo Fighters as one of its influences and I think that you can definitely hear that coming through with the more mid-tempo effort. This track also houses a brilliant little guitar solo that shows that there is more to the band than just big hammering bassy riffs.

Next we arrive at my favourite track, ‘Some Other Way.’ The track opens with a riff not too dissimilar from the Arctic Monkey’s ‘Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.’ Personally I think that if the band were to release a single from this project then this song would be perfect, trust me you hear a lot worse on rock and mainstream radio. The chorus has a simple sing-a-long quality to it as well which definitely has the potential to get stuck in your head.

‘Shine On Me’ is again a little bit different from what went before it. To my rock fan trained ear there is a hint of Pearl Jam going on here, something which is never a bad thing in opinion. The stripped back interlude part way through is definitely something a bit different and once again the guitar work is again first class.

The final track is ‘The Greed Effect.’ As many of you will know there is nothing more that I love in the world than a really heavy powerful riff and this song is just that from start to finish. It kicks off at breakneck speed and doesn’t stop for breath, with that riff just hammering the song forward. If you wanted a snapshot into the band and their overall sound I would recommend getting your ears around this track, without doubt one of the highlights of the record, and enough to ensure that you are left wanting more.

As I said above all in all this is a very good debut effort from a band on the up. I do however have one minor criticism and that is more on the production side, sometimes the vocal feels like it is a little too low in the mix and gets crowded out. For me personally I like the vocal to be a bit more prominent, but then again that might just be me. But as I say this is only a minor niggle and doesn’t detract from what the band have achieved here, which is a fantastic hard rock record that you really should have in your collection.

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