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Album Review : Cellar Door Moon Crow : You Got This

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Brothers Phil & Tom Goodwin have refused to play by the rules in a world where music made to the X-Factor formula, for a tv audience of millions on a Saturday tea time, means how you look is more important than how you sound.  The rules say that first you’ve got to get yourself a catchy name, then your music has to fit into a pre-set genre so you can be labelled and packaged neatly – well these boys are having none of that.  

Since 2015, Cellar Door Moon Crow have been making a big noise in the music industry with their unique name and unique sound, winning a lot of fans in the process. ‘You got This’ is their self-produced debut release and its an album all about positivity, being proud of yourself and being confident, which is something you feel comes naturally to this 2-piece from Sheffield.  

The album lists 15 tracks, but with an ‘Intro’ and ‘Outro’ less than 30 seconds long apiece it starts proper with ‘Whistler’ which smacks you in the face from the opening bars of its powerful beat and Royal Blood influenced sound, mixed with hip-hop – yep you read it correctly – which gives us a refreshing sound that is difficult to pigeon hole. This is followed by a short sharp hit of ‘You Got This’, a catchy track, which at 19 seconds and containing just 4 words in the lyrics, is possibly the shortest title track ever. Next up is ‘Backlash’ a pulsating rock track with Phil grinding the guitar and supplying the vocals whilst Tom thumps the tubs in this catchy genre-crossing track which has elements of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC and Aerosmith.  

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63zbRj6vzNM&w=560&h=315]

‘Tightrope’ takes on a more bluesy feel with a raw, infectious riff running through which gives this track a really big sound and no surprise that this was the first single to be released from the album before we change direction completely again to ‘Who’s Way’ with it’s multiple timing changes, pounding beat and a nod to Frank Sinatra, which they use to reinforce the message that they are going to do this their way. We slow down a little for ‘Won’t You’ and are even treated to a spot of dreamy piano alongside melodic vocals, before the track builds and then falls back again to a gentle finale, which shows that CDMC are no one trick pony. These talented lads are taking all their influences, blending them and not just blurring the lines, more erasing them altogether by making music that is crafted from the many parts in such a way that it really, really works. Over the past four years their sound has evolved and matured and that is the difference between CDMC and many other bands out there.  

The band are joined by guest vocalists on the next two tracks – with British singer Rebecca Downes lending her bluesy tones to compliment Phil’s punchy vocal on the hip-hop infused ‘Overdrive’ before fellow Sheffield resident and grime artist J.Kas appears on the rockier ‘East To The Westand you get the impression there will soon be a queue forming to team up with CDRW. The all too brief ‘Karaoke Walkie Talkie’, which comes in at 35 seconds, follows, leading us into the hard hitting ‘Forgiveness’ where the boys let rip once again, before keyboard led ‘I Got You’ which is as different to anything that has gone before as is possible. No thumping beats or rasping guitars just a really addictive, radio friendly tune that is surely a future single.  

We pick up the tempo once again is we head into the last few tracks of ‘Shanghai’ where the drums groove alongside the grinding guitars and then into the thought provoking ‘Memories’ which plonks along like an old style sing-a-long around the piano before we arrive at ‘Outro’ and 33 minutes after we started it’s over. 

This album is a treat, full of crazy ideas that in anybody elses hands would be just that, but in the hands of the Goodwin brothers, come together to form a stunning collection of genre busting tunes. There will be purists who can’t handle this, but every generation needs trailblazers and this album will stand the test of time, because CDMC aren’t just knocking on the door, they are busting through it with an arrogant swagger. 

If you didn’t see their triumphant performance at Ramblin’ Man in Kent earlier this year, then can catch them live supporting Airborne throughout November or failing that, at Download Festival in 2020. 

Reviewed by : Howard Whitelaw (November 2019) 

Track Listing
Intro
Whistler
You Got This
Backlash
Tightrope
Who’s Way
Won’t You
Overdrive
East To The West
Karaoke Walkie Talkie
Forgiveness
I Got You
Shanghai
Memories
Outro

2019 Tour dates (supporting Airbourne) Remaining Dates

24 Nov – Cardiff University
25 Nov – Bristol O2 Academy
26 Nov – London O2 Forum, Kentish Town
28 Nov – Sheffield O2 Academy
29 Nov – Southampton O2 Guildhall
30 Nov – Oxford O2 Academy

Review by Howard Whitlaw for Metal Planet Music

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