To be honest, I'd almost given up on it, thought they must have broken up or something, so long had I been waiting for the debut album from CRAWANDER, which was mooted well back into last year. As it turned out, all I really had to do was check the band's Soundcloud site, where many of the tracks have been available for months. That'll teach me for not paying attention. Thankfully, the band were, and a message from them put me right. The album's now available and it's called Cartoon Core. Was it worth the wait? You betcha.
If the smattering of teaser downloads that surfaced last year were anything to go by, the clear suggestion was that CRAWANDER might well be the best band in the world at the moment. It was a big call, but Cartoon Core confirms that promise. The sixteen tracks include those teasers, including the playfully acerbic 'Pro Bono Vox', the storming 'Prophit' and my personal favourite, 'No Problem Like My Problem', which includes perhaps rock and roll's finest ever lyrical reference to eating pizza.
The new tracks don't disappoint either. 'I Hate Teenagers', which I'll be playing in my October show on Dandelion Radio, and 'Sirens', are fine examples of the vibrant frenzy that characterises this band's approach, comparable with anything that came out to whet our ravenous appetites last year, while album closer 'I Sense Death' is a churning growler of a finale that makes you want to run through the whole thing again. But it seems wrong simply to pick out examples, because there's simply not a bad track on Cartoon Core. In fact, there's not even an OK track here: the same level of excitement and energy is maintained throughout and every one is an absolute corker.
The band's facebook page has a biography that suggests they're an original beat combo from Liverpool. Clearly there's something here that fits in with the whole odd and playful aura surrounding the band's identity, though I can't quite work out what (which is possibly the point), but my understanding (unless this is part of it too) is that they're from Croatia. But none of this really matters, because where they really belong is in my music collection, and I would suggest they should find a place in yours too.
Get the album from here.
Individual track download of No Problem Like My Problem if you need to, but just skip it and go straight to the whole thing.