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The Horrible Crowes: Elsie

Gaslight Anthem man’s very impressive side-project.

On paper, a collaboration between a frontman whose day job band is very much in the ascendency and his guitar tech seems like an impossibly bad idea. In reality, it sounds wonderful.

Last Rites, the short, piano-led mournful opener sets the scene for an album steeped in sublime, gentle beauty. Sure, there are a couple of moments that echo Gaslight – Behold The Hurricane would have worked on American Slang for example – but co-writing with longtime buddy Ian Perkins has brought out a different dimension to Brian Fallon’s creativity.

Mary Ann is possibly the finest song Tom Waits never wrote – all bluesy bluster and controlled chaos, while closer I Believe Jesus Has Brought Us Together recalls Paul Westerberg at his most fragile.

A wonderful album, then, despite its very random title.