Review: Rob Crow's Gloomy Place: 'You're doomed. Be nice.'

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, March 17th, 2016 at 1:13 PM
Review: Rob Crow's Gloomy Place: 'You're doomed. Be nice.'  by Britton Rozzelle

San-Diego multi-instrumentalist Rob Crow hasn’t given up music quite yet, despite claims on Twitter of such. This new album, presented officially by Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, “You’re Doomed. Be Nice.” is a tribute to the talent that Crow has displayed on everything he’s worked on in his career that still manages to feel fresh and interesting and relevant.

“Oh, The Sadmakers” is a high energy opener that feels like something off Crow’s solo album “Living Well,” but is more refined and melodic, showing that a lot of time went into making this album, and this song specifically, work. After a short intro, “This Distance” picks up into a moving three minutes, full of piano backing, plucked strings, and well-placed drumwork.

“Business Interruptus” was the first track I had heard from the project, and the album version is one of the strongest tracks present. It’s an uplifting and fun song that I have a blast listening to. Almost a complete foil to “Business Interruptus,” “Paper Doll Parts” feels like a much more grounded track that stands out to me as a call-back to Crow’s many, many projects, specifically Pinback.

“Light On” transitions us quickly to the curtly-titled, cautionary tale, that cannot be named in this article to the expletive present in the title. “No Shadow Left Behind” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with a great chorus and powerful instrumentals. The only downside is how short it is.

“Rest Your Soul,” comes out of nowhere with a 90’s-alt-inspired introduction that proves to be another fun, fast track.

“Yie Ar” is a return to form to melodic, relaxing and chill guitar that is notable in all of Crow’s works. The instrumentals take the lead on this one, much like “Autumnal Palette,” which feels like it could have been a Smashing Pumpkins song at some point.

“Red: Alone” is the most Pinback-esque track here, with a drum-machine and claps driving the melody with on-the-beat vocal delivery that really makes the whole thing work. “Unreliable Narrator,” the next song, feels like it could have been the closer but instead it leads into the longest song on the album--”What We’ve Been Up to While You’ve Been Away” -- which perfectly wraps the album up, presenting listeners with a distant-sounding but excellent use of instrumentals to both ground and drive the song.

Overall, “You’re Doomed. Be Nice.” is a true to form album for Rob Crow, but it’s comforting knowing that while this may (potentially) be his last album, it’s a great one.

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