CRAW – Map, Monitor, Surge
March 21, 2011
Massively overlooked band that grew through the same period of 90’s ‘noise rock’ that was popularised by Helmet, Jesus Lizard, Shellac et al. In fact Craw share few similarities beyond the surface references, the nearest band I can think to categorise them alongside would be Season To Risk. Both bands favour strange time signatures, odd spoken/sung vocals & dissonant guitar lines.
‘Map, Monitor, Surge’ is their third album recorded by Steve Albini and Bill Korecky at Mars studio (Integrity/Ringworm) in 1996. This is the first appearance of Will Scharf (Keelhaul) on drums and he maybe accentuates their abuse of meter change and twisting song patterns. It is rare that any song part is repeated twice and any verse/chorus format is abandonned. It can be a disconcerting and difficult listen which is why they didn’t get much noteriety, their last album however was released by Hydra head in 2002 which was a profile boost. I detect some definite later Black Flag influence in the guitar lines on ‘Killer microbes devour Cleveland’ and the general ‘avant garde’ vibe. The Craw website had basically everything they ever recorded on it available for free download, unfortunately it seems to have gone kaput… so seek out their albums instead!