Newcastle outfit The Craw have been turning more than a few heads around the local traps of late with thanks to a high-energy, driving set that revels in a driving rock and roll sensibility, underpinned by tinges of surf and garage rock.
“We’ve all got varying influences – we spread out to the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Willie Nelson, but we all agree on rock and roll,” drummer Steven Squelch told Newcastle Live.
“I kind of describe it as if apocalyptic surf is on a motorcycle coming down a hill and there’s another hill and rock action is coming down that one and they have a massive head-on crash.”
The band, also consisting of Shane Hayter and Paul Harris on guitars and Rob Hogan on bass, have just committed some of that magic to tape in the form of their self-titled, four-track EP which does a great job in capturing the essence of their live sound.
The four-track banger bristles with an unpretentious rock and roll swagger that grabs you by the collar from the driving bass line of opener Black Sparkle Machine to the break-neck riffing of closer It Can Only Get Better From Here.
While offering a sound that it firmly rooted in “the now” the band, in particular the twin guitar attack, revel in the warm and luscious tones of vintage tube amps and classic axes.
“The sound and tone is very important to the band,” Steven said. “Both guitarists are heavily into tone – they are constantly selling and getting new gear, searching for that perfect tone.”
Recorded at Sawtooth Studios, Steven added that the recording process for the EP was “effortless.”
“We agreed on four songs that we loved, headed into Sawtooth and it was just so easy and effortless,” he said.
“The drums were done in just a couple of takes – the boys [Shayne and Paul] spent a bit of time on the guitars . but the whole thing was a really fun and laid back process.”
To celebrate the release of the EP, the band will be playing at the Stag and Hunter on Friday 23 March, with Wollongong-based rockers The Dark Clouds and Newcastle-via-Central Coast-via Sydney punks The Med Heads.
Given the band’s love of surf rock, and the recent passing of guitar maestro Dick Dale, Squelch said that the granddaddy of the genre could get the Craw treatment at the gig.
“There might be a few little surprises in there, without giving too much away,” he said.
To grab a copy of the EP, visit https://thecraw.bandcamp.com/ or head along to a gig.
Catch The Craw at the Stag and Hunter on Friday 22 March with The Med Heads and The Dark Clouds. Entry is free.