"I got a lot to lose, and I got nothing at all."
2023 has been a year. The music I have reviewed has come from all over the world. And now, even though I haven't been to Texas since 2001, I can imagine sitting at The Water's Edge on McGee Beach in Corpus Christi listening to The East & The Crow play. The sun's still up, but it's getting ready to set. The audience is full of community members, adults, and children, and they are all dancing.
The East & The Crow is my definition of American Rock. Made from a mixture of country, blues, alt-rock, and pop, you can hear it in Brian Wright's craggy voice, the guitars, their lyrics, and their name. Yet, their style is just the vehicle. This band has goals, such as being on SNL, and loves being in front of an audience on the road. However, to do so, they must have material. Hence, Embers in the Sea.
Listening through The East & The Crow's new EP, one of the traits I noticed is that most of their songs run close to five minutes or more, perfect for a touring band who likes to see their audience dancing. The opening title song is a great example. At five minutes and thirty-six seconds, this song is upbeat, vulnerable, and has multiple movements, including a couple of builds. I can imagine being at a show where they play this. Strategically placed within a good setlist, it could get the audience going. "Can't Blame It on the Rain" and "Punching Bag Baby" fit a similar mold. While the lyrics are meaningful, the music and its purpose drive this album.
I am not trying to skip over the vulnerability of the lyrics. The honesty shared by this band will help build a connection with their audience. "Pictures" and "Medicine" slow Embers in the Sea just enough to showcase them. However, in "A Million Miles," you can hear that they want to get the audience dancing again.
Final Thought: While I like the meaningful lyrics, play with them a little more in the future and push forward with their music. Sometimes, less is more. It will give them more time to get lost in their sound.
Favorite Song: "Embers in the Sea"
Rating - 4/5 – I say, "Keep making new songs"