Tom Crow is a singer-songwriter based in Wales though you may think you are listening to a Country come Grassroots style Americana band after taking a listen to debut album Fault Lines. With his 'Ghostriders' at his back to provide instrumentation from double bass and guitars to piano and backing vocals the album provide some huge highlights, The album is packed to the brim with songs written by true musicians. Let's get stuck in:
The album opens with "Fourteen Locks", a solemn and thought-provoking track that glistens with subtle vocal harmonies and a great concept. The inclusion of various instruments from the outset is great to hear but it is even more impressive that they blend so well together.
The intro of "Faded Red" chimes in next and the feeling is much like a Springsteen song in that there is a strong uplifting poppy vibe whilst the vocals of Terry Phillips (Tom Crow) and Leila Dee bounce effortlessly off one another and weave nicely together too. "The rain came down on my hometown and it bought such a smile to my face. In a world where nothing is mean to last, I'm so glad some things never change" is repeated during the end of the song and it is such a simple but beautiful concept. This is definitely an early highlight on the album! "Shadows" & "Forgiveness" hold a similar uplifting vibe later on in the album too.
"Three Verses" is slightly less upbeat and focuses more on the intricate guitar picking in the verses. That is until the surprise guitar solo kicks in swiftly followed by a violin too. It is an excellent moment of musicianship captured fantastically on the track. "Path of Least Resistance" is complimented beautifully by the piano that chimes subtly along with the song. "Love doesn't have to give any reason, love follows the path of least resistance" Crow sings as if reciting a tale of a time gone by. "Jericho" is one of the most upbeat songs on the album that makes it very difficult not to at least head bob or hip sway along with. The piano and violin additions compliment the track hugely too.
Towards the end of the album "Good Man" has yet more intricate finger picking on the acoustic guitar and the story highlights the impact society can have on good people and how quickly life can change. It is a sentiment that sticks with you. Closing the album "Happy Endings" culminates perfectly combining the excellent storytelling we have been treated to so far whilst giving one last helping of an upbeat tune with harmonies and weaving vocals aplenty.
Fault Lines presents a very diverse listen with no two tracks sounding the same. The storytelling process in each song really pulls the listener in and is a wholly satisfying and in-depth listen that is easy to get lost in. This is the sort of album you stick on ready for a long journey, just watch that hour fly by!