REVIEW: Crawlers – Loud Without Noise

Written by Laura Sandy Siekapen Youmbi

Rising rock band Crawlers released their debut mixtape and second musical project, Loud Without Noise, on 4th November 2022 via Polydor Records.

The Merseyside quartet formed back in 2018, after already dabbling in the instrumental realm for over two years beforehand. Classically trained lead singer Holly Minto teamed up with guitarists Amy Woodall and Liv Kettle during their sixth form years, with Harry Breen following suit as their drummer, thus completing the ensemble.

Combined with this pre-established musical background, the band’s influences range from iconic legendary rock bands such as My Chemical Romance and Nirvana, to singer-songwriters like Phoebe Bridgers and Lauryn Hill, and rappers such as Kendrick Lamar. This myriad of musical influences is certainly echoed throughout the six tracks: with the heavy rock sounds and fast-paced rhythms of ‘Feminist Radical Hypocritical Delusional’ starkly contrasting with the more soulful ballad feel of ‘Hang Me Like Jesus.’

Particularly notable tracks include ‘Fuck Me (I Didn’t Know How to Say)’ which provides a glimpse into Holly’s personal relationship with sex, which they depended upon as a coping strategy to cloud the internal trauma they were battling with. As a result of using their “body to pay the rent”, Holly realised that they didn’t know how to say I want you to love me”. This admirable vulnerability provides a critical lens into the repercussions that an unhealthy relationship with sex can evoke.

During their interview with Front Row Live Entertainment, Holly revealed that they were inspired by Leith Ross’s ‘We’ll Never Have Sex’ and the particularly poignant line ‘he kissed me just to kiss me’, which struck a major chord with the lead singer. Interestingly, ‘Fuck me’ was in fact intended as an acoustic track rather than a heavy rock piece. However, the band felt that the emotionally charged lyrics necessitated a heavier sound and more upbeat rhythm.

This rhythmic and lyrical paradox is also prevalent in the mixtape’s opening track: ‘I Can’t Drive’, which reflects on another dimension of Holly’s romantic experiences. Throughout the track, Holly explores how their use of drugs made everything seem “loud” in their head, all “without noise”, as a means of drowning out feelings of profound hurt. The extremely catchy hook take it from me: I’m not looking for anybody” offers a cheerful and uplifting melody to the otherwise melancholic lyrics – an element which was certainly brought to life by the electrified crowds at their sold-out New York city tour earlier this year, as well as their current UK tour.

The final track, ‘Hang Me like Jesus’, also deserves a notable mention. This is a personal favourite of mine, due to its sonically distinct ballad style and the tangible rawness that emanates from Holly’s striking vocals.

Holly elaborates on their use of Jesus as a metaphor to illustrate how they felt they had sacrificed themselves for a relationship, falsely believing they were ‘in love’ at the time. They further state that they do not aim to measure themselves up to the glorified biblical figure, but merely felt that his example was the closest comparison to their experience. In any case, the profound sentiments of grief and mourning strongly resonate throughout this soulful piece, providing the ear with a slight reprieve from the heavy rock sounds, thus making for an effective conclusion to the collection of art.

Loud Without Noise is now available to stream on all platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

Laura is a final year Modern Languages and English Literature student. Interests include languages, reading/writing, playing musical instruments (piano and voice) and gaming. Instagram: @_laurasandy

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