Half Crown – ‘Everything Goes’ [Review]
When I first discovered Half Crown at a secret Sofar Sounds show in a beautiful Brighton basement, I was struck by how comfortable they were in such an exposed and intimate environment. On Everything Goes, Half Crown manage to achieve that same sense of fearless liveness and meaningful connection without any face-to-face contact whatsoever. This is a rare and valuable feat in today’s increasingly digital and digitised world.
Fusing gritty blues-ridden rock’n’roll with elements of hip-hop and reggae, Half Crown have developed an energising and exciting sound that retains enough familiarity to ensure accessibility while pushing a collection of idiosyncratic personalities to the forefront. While many rock-oriented acts talk the talk and look the part but put out a self-consciously studious, even bookish vibe on record and onstage, Half Crown have not only done their homework but also twisted their tastes into something more suited to getting their plaintive and heartfelt message across. That message changes from song to song, spanning the spectrum from the personal to the political, but you cannot doubt the passion behind the playing or words for so much as a microsecond.
Whether referencing Electric Six classic Danger! High Voltage on Electric; busting out dirty grooves on Eyes of Diamond, Tears of Gold; lending an easygoing bounce and Hendrixian guitar licks to Wonderland; or channelling the spirit of Street Sweeper Social Club on personal favourite Mygrain, Half Crown are on top form across all of Everything Goes‘ 8 tracks. They may come from a rough place, but Half Crown’s future is full of reasons to look forward with optimism, and sure to be populated by plenty of people who recognise the value of bands who can suffer eloquently while avoiding the victim trap and fighting the good fight at the top of their lungs.
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