There was a time in the not too distant past that the idea of any new music from Rob Crow was highly unbelievable. The artist had a rather public withdrawal from the music industry. He made no bones about the facts of the life of a musician, he explained that in today’s current climate of fickle audiences the inability to grow his audience without selling one’s soul to the corporations was exhausting.
Therefore the title of his new venture, You’re Doomed. Be Nice., takes on an extra significance. Previously Crow had been a loner in his craft, producing and mixing every note of his work. This may explain his exhaustion and lack of faith of the industry. This time around he has sorted help from some trusted fellows and friends to bring us his welcome return.
The first track comes at you with pure venom: ‘Oh, the Sadmakers’ feels like a verbal and musical dagger to those who exhausted him. The opening track is fast and heavy and feels like he is involved in some form of cleansing of his soul. Although the track smacks us around the face it is merely something he had to get out of his system. Despite this negativity the track is a roaring success, with Crow’s lamenting set against rocking guitars and heavy drums.
The lead single is a calmer yet upbeat sounding affair. ‘Business Interruptus’ is a more carefully crafted swipe at the music industry. Set up as a kind of a funky diatribe concerning a musician’s worth to the all-powerful record companies, complete with infectious slap basslines, Crow asks:
“Ain’t it real? / Ain’t it fine? / Must I ask you all the time / How much anybody’s worth? / What is anybody worth?”
The track works on both levels, it’s an upbeat funky track which somehow manages to encapsulate one of the performer’s darkest hours. Quite an achievement for an artist who had given up on the music industry completely. Crow’s whole album is clearly a piece of work that is dredged in emotional depth. The album is obviously hugely personal, and Crow’s return is clearly something he debated and mulled over. However the return is spectacular success. He has been able to forge his anger and produce a wonderful album. This is probably best captured along with his cutting dry wit in the track ‘Quit Being Dicks’. A jaunty stroll with an excellent backing from the band the lyrical content is sophisticated and thought provoking.
The next few track continues to capture the essence of the album. The wonderful ‘No Shadow Left Behind’ and ‘Rest Your Soul’ continue the theme of Crow’s return, yet this is certainly not something our ears do not tire of.
It’s obvious that Mr Crow is not going to change the nature of the music industry. He alone probably understands that better than most. Although this album does highlight the perils of emerging talents and this illustrates the sheer graft of what breakthrough acts must go through, this is clearly an album that Crow needed to make. We hope that he does need to plunge to his previous depth. We hope that he finds some peace and that his future work continues from this new starting point.