CROWN LANDS – ” White Buffalo ” EP

Posted: October 26, 2022 in MUSIC

Crown Lands makes music that’s mighty, magical and vast, especially impressive since there are only two people in the band. So how do these young rockers achieve such widescreen sonics onstage, on songs like “Right Way Back” and “The Witching Hour (Electric Witch)”?

For one, sheer musical prowess. Crown Lands singer/drummer Cody Bowles commands cirrus-scaling pipes and hot beats. Meanwhile, Kevin Comeau conjures guitar storms, silky synths and contoured bass, often within the same tune. “One of our favourite bands was Rush,” Comeau says, “and they always joke about being the world’s smallest symphony. And we kind of wanted to one-up, or one-down them, and see how lush, orchestral and symphonic we could get with our rock sound.”

Standout Crown Lands single “Context: Fearless Pt. I” – not to mention the “2112″-esque title – certainly echoes Rush. The version on 2021 live-in-the-studio album “Odyssey Vol. 1″ is particularly stunning.

The saying goes “never meet your heroes.” But Bowles and Comeau have become friends with bassist/singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, Rush’s surviving members after drummer/lyricist Neil Peart’s 2020 death at age 67 from brain cancer.

“Who you are as a person and how you treat people is just as important as what you create, and those guys walk through life so humbly,” Bowles says of Lifeson and Lee. “They’re still best buds after being on the road together for 40 years. I don’t know if you’ve spent much time on a tour, but that’s an amazing feat.”

Crown Lands served as Lifeson’s backing band at a 2021 charity gig. Leading up, Lifeson loaned Comeau his iconic white Gibson double-neck to take home. “I played (Rush classic) ‘Xanadu’ every night,” Comeau recalls. “He’s such a generous human being.”

The nine-song “Odyssey Vol. 1″ LP, which was also filmed and livestreamed, is the ideal entry point into Crown Land’s progressive hard rock. “Odyssey” presents songs from Crown Lands’ first three studio albums with that extra heat of a live performance and captured with crystal clarity. Comeau says “The Oracle,” an epic track from 2021 EP “White Buffalo” and also the closing performance on “Odyssey: Vol. 1,” is the most challenging song for Crown Lands to pull off onstage.

Bowles and Comeau have conflicted feelings about whether to eventually expand Crown Lands ranks. Bowles leans toward keeping things stripped down. Comeau, though, relishes the thought of getting to focus on one instrument onstage, if additional musicians were brought it, and Bowles moving from behind the drumkit to sing out front, 

The title track from “White Buffalo” is a concise rocker likely to appeal to fans of famous bluesier rock duos like the Black Keys and White Stripes. But unlike those aforementioned two bands with guitar-playing frontmen, since Bowles is a singing drummer, it gives Crown Lands a different groove. Bowles says, “I feel like, having to play drums at the same time as singing, you intimately know all of the rhythms, accents and hits, so you unconsciously start making vocal riffs and hooks around those beats, so it does inform how the melodies are created.” Bowles credits “White Buffalo” producer David Bottrill, who previously worked with Tool and Peter Gabriel, with helping him expand his vocal phrasing.

“White Buffalo” EP Out Now

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