Levi Fuller ”This Murder is a Peaceful Gathering” (Denimclature, 2006)
Corvine themed set has critic raving
Crows, it is said, are the most intelligent of birds (the evidence given for this is their propensity towards monogamy – you could of course take this as evidence for the reverse) anyway these coal black creatures are the inspiration behind this record. The crow is more easily associated with the Goth fraternity, the black plumage, the gathering in flocks, their harsh calls, here though we are in more gentle territory. Acoustic strums introduce ‘As the Crow Flies’ but with Brian Deck at the controls it's not long until he marshals a flock of instruments, soft hammers pecking away with percussive intensity. Aloft on thermals of organ ‘The Crows Are Getting Smarter’ flapping wings of menace draw on folkloric fear of the black-eyed avians. The real test of a set of themed songs is whether or not the concept overloads the songs, here it certainly doesn’t, the excellent short story quality of ‘Crow Lady’ has passages of great beauty that suggest the subjects wheeling lazily above a cornfield.
‘Crows Meeting’ is told from the birds perspective and delineates their contempt for their human counterparts, all the time the steady gentle pulse of the music is flecked through with subtle highlights like the sunlight catching the various textures on a crows wing. The record drips with atmosphere, the whisper of frost nipping your ears on a winters morning, throaty crow talk coming from the trees, the sense of place, the symbiosis and sense of place that we apparently share, ‘Canary : Coalmine :: Crow : ______’ has a funereal pace and an ecological message, guitar notes pile up on themselves like cockerels strutting and fighting, a Beefheartian blues riff turning on itself, a kind of I scream for crow. A lone banjo and some banged tin introduce ‘This Murder Won’t Hurt You’ the vocal hollered from a neighbouring field by an itinerant scarecrow deconstruct the collective noun for a gathering of crows.
Make no mistake this is a multi-layered undertaking full of wonderful metaphors and musical invention, a concept album about crows that everyone can love.
Date review added: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Reviewer: David Cowling
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