There is something very clever about the Bay View EP and the sounds it eagerly shares. Certainly the new outing from UK rockers Crimson Star sounds rather good from the off with a blaze of rock ‘n’ roll which may not dramatically impress but leaves a definite appetite for more. But like all relentless fires, it leaves little cinders in the shape of persuasive hooks and grooves which continue to catch in the imagination even in its absence. You could say the five track encounter is a slow burner in many ways despite its sizeable impact first time around and that is a success as potent as anything in our eyes.
Hailing from Birmingham, the threesome emerged in 2012 and since then has earned a rich reputation for their live presence and weighty alternative/melodic rock sound. 2016 saw the release of the Driven EP with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist James Shaw, bassist Roger Ash, and drummer Ross Edgington together. That well-received offering was recorded with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Lower Than Atlantis, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend), a successful union repeated with Bay View.
The EP opens with recent single The Pragmatist and straight away riffs and vocals lure attention, the increasingly grooved invitation of the guitar aligning with the equally potent scowling tones of Edgington. As it establishes its eager stroll, the song ebbs and flows in intensity without losing its instinctively infectious nature whilst always looking to evolve as melodies and the ever captivating grooves share their imagination. More addictive than it seemingly appears at the time, the song is a masterful slice of rock ‘n’ roll setting the release off to a great heavy and rousing start.
The following La Prom carries the same intent, instantly pushing through ears with a bold touch but soon revealing an atmospheric breath around crystalline melodies. Its calm has an underlying volatility which subsequently erupts as fiery grooves and raw riffs join an already laid bait of coaxing rhythms. With great fuzz to its tone and an edge to its energy, they aligning to further melodic enterprise, the song simply hits the spot.
Desert rock grooves fire up within next up Once, their spice leading to a grunge/alternative rock scowl which again is always looking to spring an unpredictable and imaginative adventure. Like its predecessor, the track does not have the immediate sparks of the opener yet grips from start to finish sowing that earlier mentioned niggle in its own way to return at will in the memory; a trait just as successful within Euthanise Me. The muscle of its grooves and rhythmic incitement courts a fine blues rock hue, a flavouring which blossoms within the following dark lit stroll the voice and bass take the imagination on. Like a blend of Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam with a slight touch of Kyuss, the song is unbridled captivation rivalling the first for best song honours.
The release is concluded by Gimme Some, another slice of intriguing rock ‘n’ roll which like the EP just grows and impresses with every listen. Grooves need little time to wrap their persuasion around ears though, melodic shadows and radiance working away on the imagination, as it brings Bay View to a magnetic close.
With double figure listens under our belt, it is fair to say that Bay View has become a keenly devoured and praised proposal. It took its time with us despite its potent start and we can only say share some of your time with Crimson Star to discover some prime heavy rock; it is hard to imagine you will be disappointed.
Bay View is released January 19th
Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018
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