Creators of Hardcore Sludge mayhem from Parkersburg West Virginia, CrownVic are a trio that turned our heads with new single “Miserable”, so we figured we’d go and check out their end of March released EP “Black Lips” and see how the evil compares. The singles “The Old” and “Coward” appeared before the EP, which only includes the later as the band tracked in Marietta Ohio at Wood St Records before tapping up Andy Nelson at Bricktop Studio in Chicago Illinois for the mix and Brad Boatright at Audiosiege for the master.
Opening skull crushing “Senseless Violence” takes the heavier end of what Left Behind did with their “Blessed By The Burn” album and creates a downtempo Hardcore Sludge chug-a-thon of a 90 second burst, soaked in dirty groove. Keeping the lyrics to a minimum and allowing the vocals to act like a bludgeoning instrument of their own makes for a thunderous opening. “I Will Never Apologize” comes to life loaded with feedback and has a Knocked Loose vibe to it underneath that thick layer of Sludge Metal riffage. Some neat pitching changes in the vocals department and breakdowns galore are spot on. Andy Nelson and Brad Boatright deserve much credit for their parts, the sound could have ended up sounding like a white noise plane crash in the wrong hands, but instead we get something that allows the talent to shine through the dirt. Title track “Black Lips” is as you would expect, blunt force trauma of violent abrasive riffs, blast beats and thick tones with squealed tempo shifts that leave you feeling like your planet is being dragged into a black whole to an inevitable disintegration. In the best possible way. “Coward” takes a cleaner but not clean approach and the vocals make it sound like Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan is dropping a secret guest appearance, the riffs swirling in the darkness and the sentiment “Your fear will cripple you” isn’t one that is lost on us. If you’re after a hammer blow of an EP, check this one one out [7.5/10]
I Will Never Apologize
“Black Lips” by Crown Vic is out now via Wood Street Records and available over at bandcamp