Hailing from Cornwall, Crowns looks set for some interesting times ahead, as people, especially the Americans, can't get enough of this sort of stuff these days. Since 2010 the band has kept busy touring, gracing the stages at the Reading and Leeds festivals, Bestival and as support to the likes of Blink 182 and Dropkick Murphys.
'Stitches In The Flag' is a vigorous measure of snotty nosed Celtic dissident folk that may prove a refreshing alternative to Mumford's fey bucolic whimsy. Crowns sound hangs on a chassis of traditional Cornish drinking tunes that have had their arrangements injected with punk and played through the nearest Marshal stack. Traditional SW British folk is not that far removed from its Irish cousin so 'Stitches In The Flag' sounds strongly like the result of Green Day jamming with The Pogues while Sham 69 man the bar.
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Chock full of short sharp salvos of boozy chant-along barroom spirituals, the album zips along on a crashing wave of what the band likes to call Fish Punk. With only the rare let up in proceedings, the Crowns boys sound like they would be just as happy squashed in the corner of some Cornish badlands hostelry frantically banging out 'Boscastle Breakdown', 'Full Swing', 'Stitches In The Flag' or 'Four Walls' as they would bouncing around big ticket festival stages or messing about in the studio.
The shock tactics used in the song writing does have its drawbacks, not least the album sounding a bit samey after a while. Yet, whilst it may not curry favour with those who like to sit and stroke their no doubt very hairy chins in deep contemplation, 'Stitches In The Flag' will certainly find favour amongst the not inconsiderable audience who just want something to listen to whilst knocking back a pint or two with their pals down the pub. The band have planted themselves firmly between two very strong musical traditions that offer a lot more opportunities to play around a bit than Crowns have taken advantage of here.
Like most debut albums, 'Stitches In The Flag' is made up of songs that have had a couple of years to ferment and mature so it will be interesting to see what Crowns do next especially as the band has barely scratched the surface of its potential. Overall, 'Stitches In The Flag' is a zippy blistering, though not viscereal, little album from a band that finds itself in the very fortunate position of having a choice of where to take their sound next.
Interesting times ahead indeed and if Crowns get it right, lucrative too.