26 Jan 2021
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Mojo Crow - EP Review: The Badlands

15 Jun 2020 // A review by Darryl Baser

Auckland’s Mojo Crow have been around since 2012 in one form or another, and have just released their brand new EP, The Badlands.

Right from the start of the opening track, High Plains Drifter, Mojo Crew’s up tempo country sound is to the fore. Lyrically the song could be from a classic western, there’s a showdown on a dusty street, a drifter of the high plains variety enters, and there’s a kerfuffle. Nick Jones’ violin is acerbic, cutting through the mix like a hot knife.

The second tune Revelations brings the tempo down a little. It has almost a biblical feel to it, mentioning being "in the flames". This track doesn’t quite have the immediate impact of the opener, still a good tune though.

The third tune Lizard In The Sun is a ballad, and the title seems to be a metaphor in a relationship gone wrong scenario. The middle 8 in this tune is cavernous, before… "well, I thought by now I knew you, but you taught me that is a lie.." Then there’s a reference to someone "shedding skin like a Lizard in the sun"… It's a good tune.

Track four, Love Is A Cage, is a blues based tune which begins slowly before snapping into a country blues 2/4. Here’s an idea of the song’s theme; "you’re my heroin, I’m your cocaine"… "'cause love ain’t free, love is a cage" are among the lyrics in the chorus. Wait for the last note sung on the track, vocalist Chris Jones just nails it so well.

The EP ends on Gold Fever which begins with horns and then slides into another up tempo 2/4. It has some beautiful horn parts, and listen for the banjo which fades up in the mix later on. As with the other songs on this EP, Gold Fever is really well crafted, played, and recorded. I imagine Mojo Crow are amazing live. I love the way this one ends too - think Ennio Morricone, spaghetti western.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Mojo Crow

Mojo Crow (Auckland) hatched in late 2012 with singer-songwriter Chris Jones and multi-talented brother Nick Jones on electric violin & keys.

When Mojo Crow decided it was time to record their debut EP in 2013, they already had a diverse range of material to choose from. With the addition of a third crow Ryan Ouston on drums, they prepared and recorded at Roundhead studios in Auckland. Their self-released debut EP Fly by Night highlights their rock, blues, and alt-country influences with catchy melodies, strong vocal harmonies, and captivating lyrics.

But it wasn't until 2014, and after drummer Ryan ventured overseas the band realised it's ultimate form with the introduction of Shawn Means on drums, Braeden Foster on bass, and Tim Roper on lead guitar. Not content to limit themselves to one genre, Mojo Crow's original songs are an eclectic mix of alt-country, blues, alt-rock, and reggae.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mojo Crow

Releases

The Badlands
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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