“The UK-based experimentalists are back with a deliciously dark second album, and we just can’t get enough!”
Band: They Called Him Zone
Album: Crow Swan Wolf
For Fans Of: Joy Division // Bauhaus // New Order
Now I’ll admit, when I was first sent this album, I was a little skeptical. For whatever reason, it’s rare that an electronic record makes it onto my playlist, and even rarer for one to make a lasting impression. However, after just one listen through They Called Him Zone’s “Crow Swan Wolf”, I was pretty much hooked.
I’m a sucker for anything with an eighties’ flare, and there are definitely New-Wave elements across the whole record, from the minimalist drawl of the vocals to gorgeously wavy riffs that occasionally meander through the otherwise driving beats. All the trad-goth hallmarks are there too, with second track Just Fall especially evoking that throwback melancholy vibe.
However, to say they are an act preoccupied with eras past would be to sell them short. Opening offering Devil Dying is fresh and effortlessly cool, with only the guitars betraying just the barest hints of psychedelic groove. Paired with such sultry, self-indulgent lyrics, the self-assured melodies just shouldn’t work, but when the first instrumental hits it’s hard to deny how perfectly it all comes together.
Oh Well Nevermind is melancholy and aloof, whilst Only You is the closest the mini-album comes to flirting with radio-friendly pop appeal. However, both manage to take what should be standard fare in surprising directions, mastering an expert touch to elevate the tracks with only the smallest tweaks.
The last third is what really cements the record though. Waste You does exactly what you might expect, snarling at you in a perfectly orchestrated game of grit and grunge, so that when the darkly seductive Wish You Were Here hits, it does so with subtlety and earnestness you wouldn’t otherwise notice.
In short, this is a record that knows exactly what it set out to achieve, from two creators who know exactly when to lean on the conventions of their genre, and when to subvert them. Though perhaps a little one-note to those who are unfamiliar with its influences, for fans of dark-wave and goth rock it provides an incredibly nuanced listen, satisfying both the nostalgic itch and the wish for something new.
Crow Swan Witch is available for purchase from the duo’s Bandcamp from the 2oth of February, with both singles subject to a “name your price offer”. You can view their single below, but in the meantime let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t be afraid to leave your own musical discoveries there too!
28 thoughts on “They Called Him Zone “Crow Swan Wolf” // A Review”
Always looking for new music options! Thank you for sharing 🙂
I’m in love with the typography on the album cover – I need to find out what it is!
I really like your description of that Devil Dying track. It was exactly what came to mind when I was listening:D Thanks for your review of that album:)
I’m so glad you think so! 🙂
This is not really my taste in music but it’s a great review of the album!
Always like to listen to something new! Never heard of the band before, but will be sure to check them out :)x
Awesome, I’m so glad!
Great review, although the top image freaks me out a bit! I’m going to go have a listen myself now!
Great post! It’s always good to get exposed to new music! Excellently well written review!
Thank you, I’m glad you think so!
It certainly makes an impact that’s for sure!
Can’t say this is my taste in music but your overall review of the album is wonderful.
These sound interesting. I’m always looking for new music to add to my playlists so thanks for sharing x
I haven’t heard about it before, but will check it out! 🙂
Sounds like a really interesting album I’ll definitely have to give this a listen x
Oh I will need to give this a listen – I love music recommendations!
I can’t say this is the kind of music I’d listen to, but you’ve done a good job of reviewing it 🙂
I have never heard of this band and it is a little different to the type of music I usually listen to, however it is always good to try new styles!
Going by your ‘for fans of’ section this sounds like it would be right up my street, will give it a listen!
Definitely checking them out, I love New Order, Bauhaus and Joy Division, so I will definitely enjoy this as well!
Great review, I’m definitely gonna listen to the whole album!
Sounds like a great album for fans of this genre. Sounds like the two creators are very talented people 🙂
I’ve not heard of this band before but sounds like a great album. Will have to check them out further xo