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    The Parlor Mob

    And You Were a Crow

    The Parlor Mob - And You Were a Crow

    2008 | Roadrunner Records 

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    All Music Guide Review

    Having weathered so much adversity in their short career (starting with the demise of their original label and indefinite shelving of their first EP), the members of Red Bank, NJ's the Parlor Mob must be breathing a collective sigh of relief over the release of their first album, And You Were a Crow, in early 2008. If not, then at the very least it seems that the weight of these worries actually benefited the precocious quintet's songwriting, by lending a little extra weight of resolve and authenticity to their rootsy, retro-fueled but nevertheless contemporary sounding hard rock. This stems from a veritable melting pot of '70s influences, which the Parlor Mob go to great lengths to break down into their various basic ingredients before building them back up into exciting groove rockers like "Dead Wrong" and "Real Hard Headed," as well as beguiling, paired-down acoustic numbers such as "Angry Young Girl" and "Can't Keep No Good Boy Down," so that only a few anal retentive music obsessives might recognize their origins. These nods to the past include Mark Melicia's high-pitched, Geddy Lee-like vocals, session organs backing up funky guitar riffs reminiscent of Mark III Deep Purple (see "Bullet"), and some energized boogie in opening foot stomper "Hard Times," which reworks and soups up ZZ Top's unmistakable "Tush" riff. The shadow of a certain, very large Zeppelin also looms especially large over the Parlor Mob's work as a whole, but really comes to the fore on the guitar inversions of "Everything You're Breathing For," the surprisingly supple folk sensitivity culminating in "Kashmir"-like bombast of "When I Was an Orphan," and the simply spectacular "Tide of Tears," where Zep's classic, cathartic blues ballad, "Since I've Been Loving You," provides the essential framework upon which the Mob build their own, slow burning, quite epic (and possibly epochal) masterpiece. And while they may chafe at comparisons to Australian trio Wolfmother, the Parlor Mob also see fit to re-record all four songs from their eponymous EP for this release (including the funky "Carnival of Crowes" and irresistible should-be single, "The Kids Ain't Alright"), without nary a change to their previously conceived arrangements, save for the scaling back of those once very prevalent keyboards. Taken as a whole, all these elements help make And You Were a Crow a very impressive effort, worthy of the band's tortuous path towards its creation ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi

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