‘Up Heaval’ by Roving Crows - moving into different directions(March 08, 2015)
Well known folk-fusion rockers Roving Crows, with their roots reaching into Celtic music, jazz, blues and Europe-wide rhythms, have undergone something of a sea change. From the band that brought out landmark albums 'Bacchanalia' and ‘Deliberate Distractions’ the line-up has now morphed down to Paul O’Neil, Caitlin Barret and Loz Shaw. With their EP ‘Up Heaval’, which probably reflects how the remaining trio feel right now, they have re-structured their sound without the drums and brass accents that marked previous work. The result portrays not so much a sense of upheaval, more a progression. In fact, it’s perhaps tighter than you might expect for a band that's just undergone change. There's more focus on the voices, and although clearly moving into different directions, it still reflects the melodic inspiration and innovation their followers will recognise.
‘Up Heaval’ offers five tracks, not surprisingly with lyrics touching on change, disloyalty, attitude and potential. The EP kicks off with the pumping drive of ‘Casanova Is Burning’, still with the expected verve but perhaps more thoughtful. They move on through the slower but equally insistent ‘Sidetracked’ with its contemplative self-examination, and into the realistic yet hopeful ‘Roll On Tomorrow’, looking forward with a fine melodic touch “… you left me feeling empty, tomorrow I’ll be strong.” There’s theexpansive instrumental ‘Up Heaval’, which again demonstrates the quality of composition expected from the band, before the sober and sorrowful looking back of ‘Brother’ closes.
Many times I’ve said that a good EP leaves you wanting more. That’s exactly what happens with ‘Up Heaval’. The new line-up will hopefully result in new album and if this ‘taster’ shows the direction then it's got to be a good one.
Roving Crows are now Paul O’Neill (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals) Caitlin Barret (fiddles, vocals,) and Loz Shaw (bass, drum programming, vocals). Website: www.rovingcrows.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll