Independent post-punk act Pet Crow is back with its latest album. The band released its sophomore album Take The Edge Off Friday through No Sleep Records. The 10-song record is an interesting record that will appeal especially to fans of the noted genre and to those of the indie-garage rock scene with its musical arrangements. The record’s lyrical content, which focuses on a variety of mental health topics, will appeal to a wide range of listeners, too. The album’s opener, ‘Limbo’ effectively combines those musical and lyrical elements to show in part what makes this independent release so appealing for the band’s target audiences. It will be addressed shortly. ‘Controlling,’ which comes later in the album’s run is another key addition to the album, as is ‘Scars,’ the album’s penultimate entry, also serves to show the album’s appeal. When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s compositions, that whole makes Take The Edge Off a work in whole that will certainly help to take the edge off of many people in its ability to connect to so many listeners.
Pet Crow’s sophomore album Take The Edge Off is a record that will find an appeal with a wide appeal within its target audience. As noted, that is due to its catchy musical arrangements and its lyrical content. The two elements together give listeners plenty to appreciate throughout the course of the album. The album’s opener, ‘Limbo’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement. That is due in part to the song’s infectious musical arrangement. The arrangement is a catchy, upbeat, guitar-driven work that is every bit as strong as other songs of its ilk, with its solid time-keeping and simple, catchy hooks and choruses. The nearly three-minute opus is certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained from start to end thanks to those elements and even its airy vocals. All things considered here, the arrangement at the center of ‘Limbo’ does its part and more to show what makes this album a strong new effort from Pet Crow. The song’s lyrical content adds even more interest to the song.
The song’s lyrical content is such that it will relate to plenty of listeners as it presents a story of someone trying to get another person to open up emotionally and let out his or her thoughts and feelings. Danielle Ross sings in the song’s lead verse, “You don’t know /Because I try/To maintain my smile/Cuts deep to/See all the darkness/In your eyes/Shutters set up inside/Gates have been locked up tight/What’s going on in there?/Should I try not to care?/Keep placing one foot forward/Somewhere you got the lines blurred.” That note of “the darkness” in the other person’s eyes seems to hint at maybe someone hiding feelings of depression. That would be right in line with the album’s overall lyrical theme of dealing with mental health issues. Many people who deal with depression will not talk about it openly because of the stigma attached to the issue. That would also explain the lines noting the “shutters set up inside.” Ross continues in the song’s second verse, “Trapped in an/unbroken cycle for/What feels like too long/Strain to see through/All your tears/Trying to right your wrongs/Got you trapped on in the inside/Ready to swallow your pride. She adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Hope you can run straight past this/Make this your last near miss/Got to keep on pushing forward/I know your lines are still blurred.” Yet again here, audiences have what comes across as a statement of someone trying to be supportive of another individual who is dealing with some very strong thoughts and emotions. Going back to that lead verse, those emotions and thoughts are likely tied to depression. The fact that she sings in the third verse, “Got to keep on pushing forward” would seem to hint at that even more. Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical content will relate to those dealing with thoughts and feelings of depression and those friends and family of people who are battling the very debilitating mental battle. What is truly interesting here is considering the weight of the song’s lyrical content, it certainly does not match up with its musical arrangement. A song of this nature is usually accompanied by over-the-top emotional musical content. So having this more light, catchy arrangement here takes a different route, illustrating the perhaps hopeful concern from the friends and family of those battling depression that those people will open up and let themselves receive that support. It really is an intriguing work in whole, and just one of the songs featured in this record that shows what makes the album worth at least one listen. It is just one of the most notable of the album’s entries. ‘Controlling’ is another key addition to the album.
‘Controlling’ stands out in part because of its own musical arrangement. The arrangement at the center of ‘Controlling’ is another catchy garage, post-punk style work that will appeal easily to audiences of that style of music. What’s interesting about the composition is that the band mixes in some very distinct 1960s-era style elements into the whole to give it its own identity. Among those elements is a rather surf-rock style guitar line that couples with certain electronics and effects that add to that retro feel and sound. The combination of those elements and the song’s production makes this arrangement another notable standout addition to Pet Crow’s new LP that will certainly because a fan favorite. The song’s arrangement is only a portion of what makes it stand out. Its lyrical content, which seems to address the issue of someone trying to escape what was clearly a very negative relationship.
Specifically, the song’s title gives the first hint about that relationship. The song’s lead verse adds even more to that discussion, as Ross sings, “How dare you decide what I’m up to/How could this be/That you make decisions for me/Am I ready to come home?/I thought I’d already said no/Your hand to my wrist/I should have dismissed/What is this game?/I don’t wanna be a player/Do I have a voice?/Well I have my own voice.” She continues in the song’s second verse, “Burn yourself with cigarettes/Am I meant to be to blame?/I turn my back for a second/Then you call out my name/It’s a funny old/It’s a funny old thing/When you decide to cling/I live this life ‘cause I wanna/I’m not your plaything.” Little doubt is left at this point as to the song’s theme at this point. If any doubt was left, the song’s third and final verse completely eliminates it, as Ross sings, “What do you want?/Do you want from me?/Just because you want it/Should I give up being free?/You turn your back for a second/I spoke with someone else/I loved you so, so much/And you had me to yourself/But that wasn’t enough, no/I had to stay behind closed doors/It’s such a shame it wasn’t obvious/That I was only yours.” Yet again, here audiences are presented with a song about someone who was clearly in a controlling, emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, and is now looking back on it. That person is speaking with a certain amount of self-confidence, telling the abuser that he(?) doesn’t realize how much he has lost. This is a matter that will relate to – largely – women and even to men. Men can find themselves in controlling relationships just as much as women. To that end, hearing the confidence in the delivery of these lines will certainly motivate those who perhaps are trying to get up the confidence to get out of one of those relationships and even to those who have just gotten out of one of those relationships. Going back to the song’s musical arrangement, it is just as confident and proud as the song’s lyrical content, so when that content is considered alongside the song’s lyrical content, the two elements together make this song a very empowering work. In turn, it also makes the song that much more of a key example of the importance of the album in whole. It is not the last of the album’s most notable works, either. ‘Scars,’ the album’s penultimate track is notable in its own right, too.
‘Scars’ presents a musical arrangement that is pure indie rock from start to finish. From its foundation, formed by the work of guitarist Sean Kenny, to the work of saxophonist Chris Tree and that of organist Rich Collins to the general production, this composition is the type of work that will fit easily into any college radio programmer’s daily playlist. That familiar college-rock sound will certainly ensure listeners pay attention to the apparent social commentary in the song’s lyrical content.
The social commentary is inferred as Ross sings in the song’s lead verse, “We’re a product of our blueprints/Our behavior shows all of our scars/We can change this cycle if we keep trying/Look inwards/See ourselves/And stop lying/No one said it would be easy/We’re still here/No signs of giving up.” The very mention that “we can change this cycle if we keep trying” leaves little to no doubt that this song is meant to encourage change in the world. The song’s second verse builds on that message as Ross sings, “Keeping busy/Find time to sit down/We made it over the mountain/Now to find another way around/We can change this cycle if we keep trying/Look inwards/See ourselves and stop lying.” Here, audiences receive the message to perhaps slow down and appreciate life, rather than letting it pass by. Whle this message about changing ourselves and our lives is something that is anything but new to any musical act, is still welcome. When it is set alongside the song’s catchy indie-college rock style arrangement, the two elements together are certain to have a large overall impact on listeners. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why this song is another key addition to Take The Edge Off. When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, they make the whole of Take The Edge Off an effort from Pet Crow that certainly deserves at least one listen among indie-rock fans.
Pet Crow’s sophomore album Take The Edge Off is a work that is certain to appeal to the band’s fan base and to fans of the indie-rock realm. That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content, as has been noted through just three of the album’s featured works here. The arrangements take familiar indie-rock sensibility while also adding certain elements to make each opus original in its own right. The lyrical content addresses topics that will certainly relate to a wide range of listeners. All things considered, that combination of content makes the album one of this year’s early picks for a spot on the year’s top new independent albums list. More information on Take The Edge Off is available online now along with all of Pet Crow’s latest news at:
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