Friday, January 09, 2015

Crawlspace - In the Gospel Zone

OK, I've decided to fuck off tonight and listen to vinyl instead of doing chores and lo and behold, I discover a Crawlspace LP I forgot that I had.This is an early version of the group with Eddie Flowers on vocals (natch), guitarists going by the names of Ven Bede and Doctor Butcher, along with Billy Ray, with Lenny from the Creamers on bass and Alien Rock on drums (several of which were members of the Lazy Cowgirls under aliases).

The LP opens with the fantastic "Devil Talks in Tongues" - a powerhouse song so damn catchy that even the Gizmos have taken to covering it! Following in the scriptural lyrics, next up is "Could You Walk On the Water" (actually a rejected Rolling Stones album title), here starting as a mid-tempo, melodic rocker that builds in intensity until it is a mass of ravin' rantin'. Guitars crash'n'slash in "Doomsday Xmas Bonfire" while Eddie is ready to "burn the churches to the ground" on Xmas. There some cool slide work augmenting the 70's punk of "Call Me By My Dream Name" and "One of Them" continues in the same musical vein and even similar imagery, though written by Dr. Butcher and not Eddie this time. The guys slow things down a little for the stompin', marchin' beat in "Deadly Moves" and then start to really move into the madness with "Devil in My Room", with more pounding drums backing Ven. Bede's crazed slide psychosis, giving it an acid-drenched trance-like groove.

Flip over the marbled vinyl and we get some power-noise in "Aeroplane", which, after the screeching opening, is almost a hard-rocker, except for the incessant guitars fighting for supremacy over the wild screaming/singing of Eddie and Billy Ray. I am not overly familiar with Can, whose "Little Star of Bethlehem" appears next, so can't compare it to the original here, but this is certainly not out of place with Crawlspace at the helm, with a cool groove and plenty of guitar noise (and Eddie eventually admitting "I don't know the words" and surrendering to some sweet guitar cacophony and glossolalla). This morphs into a jam titled "My Christ" and gives us even more caterwauling bedlam that continues until the vinyl runs out!

It's been way too long since I've pulled this out but this is a fine piece of turbulent clamor'n'roll, with tons of squawk'n'venom and some exceptional lyrics. Search it out - it is available online if nowhere else.