A three-piece of fledgling hard-rockers, Birmingham’s Crimson Star spent the summer of 2017 working with Romesh Dodangoda, a producer esteemed for his work with a few little bands such as Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis and Bring Me The Horizon. The result of this was Bay View, a five-track EP thick with riffs and brooding basslines but lacking in lyrical substance.
Bay View opens with latest single ‘The Pragmatist’, introducing the listener to lead singer James Shaw’s impressive Manson-esque vocals. Right away, influences from elsewhere in rock can be heard; the darkness of Muse is evident all over the release, as well as the dirty groove of Royal Blood. Such comparisons should be drawn with a pinch of salt, however, as Crimson Star have a way to go yet before nailing the ability to craft songs as pertinent to rock as their inspirators.
What lets the trio down is their seemingly slipshod lyricism. As the EP winds through the albeit head-banging swagger of ‘La Prom’, ‘Once’ and ‘Euthanise Me’, it becomes apparent that there is little talent for lyric-writing among the three, however good their instrumentation may be. Closing track ‘Gimme Some’ is slightly more promising, and hopefully hinting at the lyrical direction the band will head in going forth.
As self-releases for unsigned artists go, Bay View is far from dire, as the rhythmic, fuzzy and catchy hooks can vouch. Nevertheless, if Crimson Star seek a taste of their inspirators’ successes, they must knuckle down to improve their songwriting ability and prove their talent to the rock scene.