Crow Black Chicken: Electric Soup Review

The first thing you’ll notice about Irish three-piece Crow Black Chicken is that they sound big – remarkably big for a guitar-bass-drums outfit.  The second thing you’ll notice (besides maybe the psychedelic artwork) is that the trio’s debut, Electric Soup, overflows with energy.  It’s as though the group is driven to seek out whatever sonic boundaries they can find, only to leap across them with both feet.  Guitar work rapidly shifts from being loud and dirty to quick and controlled, creating a network of sonic landscape consisting of swirling reverb, metallic flanger, and dirty distortion that begs to be explored.

Electric Soup is undoubtedly about exploration.  From the “Flowers” outro, consisting of a guitar freak-out built on top of a sunken, distorted bass backing, to the more sensitive moments of “Epitaph,” Crow Black Chicken has a way of sounding important without losing their home-grown blues-rocker sensibilities.  Favoring walk-ups and walk-downs with unique melodic structures, Crow Black Chicken manages to get into some immensely satisfying quirky grooves.  “John the Revelator” shows up at the tail end of Electric Soup as a curiosity piece; the traditional gospel blues song is opened with a cappella vocals before being torn to shreds with aggressive guitar work and Christy O’Hanlon’s controlled yelling.  Likewise, “John Lee Wee” stands out for its sporadic guitar work and for O’Hanlon’s deep vocals.

Electric Soup has started to make waves in Crow Black Chicken’s home demographic, but this is clearly just the beginning.  Crow Black Chicken’s sound is one that’s both intriguing and technical, giving the group a studio/art sound that translates well on stage.  Whether you’re listening them in a smoky bar or on stage at a summer festival, you’ll fall prey to Crow Black Chicken’s infectious grooves and energetic presentation.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– White Lightning
– Skin Deep
– Epitaph
– John Lee Wee
– John the Revelator

The Big Hit

– White Lightning

Review by Richard MacDougall

2 thoughts on “Crow Black Chicken: Electric Soup Review

  • June 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I dig this sound and band! Great review and I agree with every word of it. I just listened to the album from start to finish and liked it so much I bought the mp3 album. Nice find BRR!!!!


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