CROWN LANDS – Fearless (2023) *HQ*

CROWN LANDS - Fearless (2023) *HQ* - full

Mere minutes into ‘Starlifter: Fearless Pt. II’, the hefty 18-minutes-plus opener to CROWN LANDS’ new album “Fearless“, you find yourself playing… which Rush song is this? Split into nine parts, naturally, and starting with ‘Overture’ (I’m not making this up), you think to yourself: ‘Begin Transmission’, that part’s from Hemispheres, right? Didn’t I originally hear that section from Requiem in La Villa Strangiato?
CROWN LANDS’ music is so deep in ’70s Rush you can almost see Geddy Lee’s kimono flapping about. Some may argue ‘copycats’… however ”Fearless” may sound exactly like vintage Rush in parts, but it’s an album peppered with great songs and pulls off some daring feats of pomp, pop and classic rock sprinkled with a little Triumph, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, Queen… and more.

This Toronto-based progressive duo (and that they can sound almost exactly like Rush with one less member is astounding) of Cody Bowles and Kevin Comeau – I’d list the instruments they play, but that would take up the rest of the review – just love ’70s melodic progressive music. Close your eyes and you could be back in time, somewhere in the twilight zone.

The playing and Cody Bowles’s sky-high vocals are peerless (though on occasion they do veer off into a world set somewhere between Andrew Wood from Mother Love Bone and Eric Cartman when he sat in with Lil’ Rush), and they even manage to sing lyrics like ‘Event Horizon / Point of no return / Black hole!’ with a straight face. Which perhaps sounds harsher than I might mean it to.
The record’s includes great songs, even their 18-minute opus (a word you feel they’ll enjoy) glides along beautifully, and the second half of the record pulls off some daring feats of classic stuff.

‘Dreamer Of The Dawn’ tears along with real panache, ‘The Shadow’ has a wonderful, stuttering feel and a great overarching melody that is pure joy. ‘Lady Of The Lake’ is prime Led Zeppelin at their woozy best, and ‘The Citadel’ is lovely, lilting pomp complete with dreamy piano and a melody line that puts you in mind of early Queen.
So, temper your cynicism, take a moment to listen, maybe hold your fire.
This is good, VERY good


01 – Starlifter: Fearless Pt. II
02 – Dreamer Of The Dawn
03 – The Shadow
04 – Right Way Back
05 – Context: Fearless Pt. I
06 – Reflections
07 – Penny
08 – Lady Of The Lake
09 – Citadel

Cody Bowles – vocals, drums
Kevin Comeau – guitar, bass, keyboards


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