Cats And Crows - 'Honest Crimes' EP Review
Tracklist: 1. Gone Away (feat. Zoe McCallion & Tim Nicholls) 2. Honest Crimes (Love And Hope feat. Chris Birchall)
3. How To Be Me 4. I Need You Like Air 5. Territorial Pissings (Nirvana Cover) 6. Wasting Time (feat. Joseph Leo)
Cats And Crows is the birth child of Isaac Birchall, a musician who in the past few years has really come into his own and has been making music in any way he can. This latest project came to life with an idea to pen a couple of acoustic songs that eventually ended up in the collaboration of 9 musicians from across the North West.
So how does it measure up? I think phenomenal would be a fair word to answer that question. When you are bringing together seasoned musicians and vocalists from varying backgrounds and styles you run the risk of creating a bit of a mess. Some collaborations can see the collective throwing everything in including the kitchen sink and inevitably end up destroying their vision. Cats And Crows don't do this at all, which in itself is a credit to the individuals involved here. Each song has a beautifully structured melody, with vocals that compliment and lyrics that engage. The core members are Isaac Birchall (Singer & Acoustic), Andy Cooper (Drums & Percussion), Dave Lloyd (Bass), David Newman (Keys) and Xander Croft (Strings) with guest appearances from Joseph Leo, Zoe McCallion, Tim Nicholls and Chris Birchall.
Departing from his rockier roots, Isaac has brought together musicians who's style centers more around Folk/Blues rock. It is the very definition of easy listening. Each song welcomes its listener in and after it's initial invite encourages you to stay. The stand out song here is the EP's title track 'Honest Crimes', which plays out in 3 parts and is Folk's answer to Bohemian Rhapsody. The beautiful lead single 'I Need You Like Air' is also a personal highlight for me. It would be a welcome addition to any radio station's playlist. As their lead single it is accompanied with a homemade video shot on the fly. A perfect way to sum up the creativity and ambition on display here. Listening to these songs you'd probably be surprised to know they have been recorded in a home studio and mixed together by Isaac himself, but at no point does it suffer for it. There is no drop in quality here, just a brilliant example of what musicians with love and passion can create. The fact they've allowed us to share in this experience is all the more sweeter.
So from here on out I can only wait with baited breath to see what form Cats And Crows takes for future releases. I also hope that readers take the time to check out the artists and their music, in what ever form that may take. Playing apart or together they are each worthy of your attention and have done the North West proud.
Stand Out Track: Honest Crimes
Check Out Their Video For 'I Need You Like Air'