Crowhaven – Emotional Adjustment

Published:

Last Updated on 09:53 PM by Lilliana Tseka

Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Blood And Iron Records/Metal Soldiers Record
Year: 2013

Crowhaven was formed in 1983 in Danville, Kentucky. Through several line-up changes, in their 30 year existence, the songwriter core of Crowhaven still remains to be Bucky Bryant and Gary Duncil. Crowhaven recorded only one album called ‘Emotional Adjustment’, recorded at Real to Reel Studios, in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1986 with Jeff Carpenter and Crowhaven producing. Crowhaven was signed to the independent Kit-A-Note record label and only 300 copies were pressed on vinyl record format. And only 100 pre-recorded cassette tapes were ever produced and are known to exist worldwide! Recently, a sealed copy of Crowhaven-Emotional Adjustment, sold at an e-bay auction, in excess of 700 dollars!

‘Emotional Adjustment’ line-up was: Bucky Bryant (guitar), Gary Duncil (vocals, bass, guitar, keys), Brett Lane (drums), Brad Oaks (guitar). The opening track ‘Paradise’ welcomes you with some haunting keys and a brilliant vocal delivery by Duncil and introduces you to the real ‘80s atmosphere. ‘Testify’, one of the best songs of the album, really shows the great musicianship and the power of the group in songwriting. ‘Time & Time Again’ and ‘Little Angel’ maintain the same level of songwriting, with the latter being more bluesy. My jaw dropped when I first listened to ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and after several listenings I came to the conclusion that this is the worst ballad I’ve ever heard! A weak song with keys, drums and an awful vocal delivery, a song that made me laugh, a song that could have been easily left out. Thankfully, there are no more weak songs for the rest of the album. ‘Heavy Metal Darlin’ is a nice rocker with a ‘biker’, catchy refrain and ‘Hero’ with its galloping rhythms and its solos will satisfy the guitar lovers.  ‘The Crow’ is a very strange and emotional song with lots of cowbell, keys and weird structure. The closer ‘Changes’ is an epic, melancholic song that once again highlights the group’s musicianship and imagination. I don’t know when ‘Just Let Go’ (the bonus track) was recorded, but it differs with the rest, and it could certainly replace the awful ballad!

Overall, it is a well-crafted, solid and honest heavy/hard rock record. You can find great ideas in it, performed in a high level by the musicians. Honors go to the almost-progressive Lane’s drumming, the distinctive Duncil’s voice (that in times brings Danzig in mind) and the guitarwork in general. The production, concerning the recording year, is pretty decent and simply will let you feel the ‘80s atmosphere.

4,5/6

P.S. The current line-up is: Bucky Bryant (guitar, mandolin, sitar, etc.), Gary Duncil (vocals, guitar, bass, keys), James Murphy (drums). With this line-up they are recording a new, upcoming Crowhaven 30th Anniversary ‘Ep, that will contain three or four new songs.

Nikos Nakos
“When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money.”
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