The Horrible Crowes
Elsie


3.5
great

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
September 14th, 2011 | 15 replies | 3,262 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A worthy side project which provides further proof of Brian Fallon's growing songwriting credentials.

Here's a revelation that'll shock you all - Brian Fallon loves Bruce Springsteen. Ok, you probably knew that already, but the Gaslight Anthem turned Horrible Crowes frontman seems intent on making his admiration for The Boss more and more blatant with each new album he releases. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. The 59 Sound was an Americana-tinged punk classic, while follow-up American Slang's more populist wanderings were no less rewarding, so it should come as no surprise that this first album in collaboration with friend Ian Perkins also proves a thoroughly fulfilling listen.

As you might have gathered from that first paragraph, Springsteen's blueprint is stamped all over Elsie. In fact, the record never really strays too far from the sound Fallon has utilised so well in The Gaslight Anthem, but what is evident is that he's approaching things from a far softer and more considered perspective. Really, all this equates to is the stripping away of the punk grit, but this has left behind an album of wonderful heart-warming moments which further display Fallon's capabilities as a master-songwriter. You won't, for example, find many songs this year with a more comforting jangle than lead single 'Behold The Hurricane,' a spellbinding but reassuringly familiar rocker which proves an obvious highlight.

What that song also proves, though, is that Fallon's compositions are continuing to reach for a broader audience, and that's no bad thing. The Horrible Crowes will probably never spread outside his existing fanbase, yet it merely seems like a continuation of the path the frontman has been travelling down for a while now which ultimately seems destined for mass communication. The numerous bluesy numbers which litter the tracklist are further evidence of this, proving unashamedly accessible without ever sacrificing any of Fallon's usual heartfelt splendour. They're nothing awe-inspiring, just rock solid tracks which provide tantalising demonstrations of his growth while never quite following through in full.

There are, however, fleeting moments scattered throughout the record which do deliver on this promise, 'Ladykiller' being chief among them. More melodic and tactful than any Gaslight Anthem song to date, you feel it could represent a glimpse into their future, and if it's anything to go by it'll be just as prosperous as their past. In fact, with Alex Rosamilia's leads added to the equation they should be able to come up with something even better, but that shouldn't hide what a crucial stepping-stone Elsie could be. It may not be listed under the Gaslight name, but the similarities are there for all to see, and as a result it seems like little more than a stop-gap release. That's no bad thing, though, as The Horrible Crowes provides another medium through which Fallon can expand his pallet, and if this album is anything to go by his return with his main band could prove more spectacular than ever.



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user ratings (214)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
    "Elsie" will still be playing on my Ipod long after I've grown tired of "Handwritten"....

    Devotedzak2 (4.5)
    A direct shot from nowhere........

    Mike Allen (4.5)
    I was a man of great sympathy when I loved you baby, but tonight all my sympathy is gone...

    BigHans (4.5)
    Be still my heart, I age 5 years at the mention of your name....

  • Jom STAFF (4.7)
    Brian Fallon and longtime friend/Gaslight guitar tech Ian Perkins collaborate on a record ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally written for http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Album's grown on me but 3.5 seems like the right score.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



21767 Comments


"Brian Fallon's groing songwriting credentials."

typo in summary

nvm you fixed it

oh I found another
"You wont"
second paragraph

Inveigh
September 14th 2011



24866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think my personal opinion of the album lies somewhere between the two reviews. This was well-written though for sure.

can't get enough of this record right now.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys, don't get me wrong I really like this but I don't really see how it warrants a 4.1 average.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



21767 Comments


that typo is still bugging me, I won't pos til my OCD is satisfied D:

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah, I hadn't noticed the second one.

Happy?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



21767 Comments


YAY :D

pos'd

BigHans
September 14th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

think Im gonna review this too, this is hitting home for me.

BigHans
September 14th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, great review.

BigHans
September 14th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

IM A MAN OF GREAT SYMPAHTY WHEN I LOVED YOU BABY
BUT TONIGHT ALL MY SYMPATHY IS GONE

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2011



2658 Comments


Second paragraph is spot-on, but I think it's less Fallon and more Perkins to be credited for the sonic change (concession: I could be wrong, but I feel like that scenario is more likely than the reverse). It's obviously different music from Gaslight, as you mentioned with the stripping of the punk grit, as you said, so I think Perkins is more responsible for that, which gave Fallon a little bit more leeway to focus on the lyrics and contribute guitars as needed.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah good point. I did feel like I was focusing a little too much on Fallon when writing this, so I might edit that in later.

Eko
September 14th 2011



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agree with this more I think

defjaw83
September 15th 2011



1765 Comments


Great review Ali, pos'd. Love this album

1 thing though:

more and more blatant with new album he releases


There should be "each" or "every" in there.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is so ridiculously easy to listen to



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