Back with their fourth release, quixotically titled, King Crawdad 3, Fort Collins-based rock outfit King Crawdad has hit an impressive new stride, producing an EP alive with the particular energy they are clearly looking to translate. Taking their latest material to the renowned Fort Collins recording studio The Blasting Room and adding Tucker Valentine into the mix on bass, King Crawdad 3 stands as some of their best work yet. It punches where it needs to punch, it kicks out the jams when it needs it the most, and it shows a band really honing in on their sound.
Before adding Valentine on the bass, the band was driven by guitarist/vocalist Miles Mercer and drummer Nick Perich. Cutting out a piece of the Northern Colorado rock scene for themselves, Mercer and Perich primarily performed as a two-piece leading up to King Crawdad 3. With the addition of the bass, the band is exploring new sound palettes while building on the two piece structure which first gave them their identity.
In signature King Crawdad style, each track of the four-track EP tops a plodding five minutes, but instead of it feeling tired, they find a way in which to blend their songs, making none of them feel like six minute ballads. Instead, it reads like a whole album super-packed into twenty minutes, like a reverse speed-punk band. And while it can feel repetitive to the casual listener, there are amazing grooves to be found. “Expert Breast Milk” absolutely hauls and is sprinkled with some very clever recording choices, showing a band who has learned to rock on stage and have fun in the studio.
King Crawdad 3 is out now. Support the band directly by purchasing it at kingcrawdad.bandcamp.com and attending their upcoming shows: Lost Lake in Denver on Friday, August 20 with Shadow of Jaguar and Lame Bake and in Steamboat Springs at Schmittigy’s the 21st and at the Crested Butte Public House on the 22nd.