One EP and a mixtape later, Crawlers build and build on the momentum so clearly fashioned through hard work and great tracks. That Time Of Year Always is, well, a sign it is indeed that time of year. A time for new releases to begin again, to release in frequency and flood the inbox of one man trying his best to keep his head above water while also charting a move to a flat with a spiral staircase. Life can be dream, as The Chords once prophesied. Keep your head above water. Tracks like That Time Of Year Always are what make and break bands. Crawlers strip back their wall of sound appeal and bring a broader sense of delicate, vulnerable material to their work. A bold move. Successful, too.
Alternative Liverpudlian rockers are building and building. Their trajectory is a nice one and showcased well on That Time Of Year Always. Pete Robertson and Jennifer Decilveo’s production identifies the Crawlers appeal, their style and a new measure of their sound. For those that fell for the wall of sound, you are in luck. It is not completely absent just taken in a new direction, with Holly Minto front and centre as ever waxing off strong lyrics on regret, comfort and all the horrors that lie in between. Crawlers carefully craft that sentimentality, their metaphors and imagery lose their magic when picked apart and explained away, so why bother? That Time of Year Always has the necessary parts and pieces that fit together nicely to make for a reflective and consistent alternative rock piece.
Riffing on the sunny exterior and using that to shine a light on the despondent interior is a nice touch that has weathered musical storms time and time again. Crawlers are up to the task of pooling something exciting, something raw, from their experiences and their collected positives so far. That Time Of Year Always, if anything, cements what a pleasure it is to see an indie band clamber up the rungs of perceived success with lightning speed. Simmering away with rock and ready beats from consistent percussion on behalf of Harry Breen. Amy Woodall and Olivia Kettle are on hand with dominant guitar and bass work respectively. Crawlers as a unit sounds confident, tighter and stronger than ever before.
Dependable riffs and jagged, punching lyrics should be no surprise to those already acquainted with Crawlers. For those who need some point of reference, imagine if Boygenius dared to blow out the speakers with guitar bridges and repetition of accepting the rent-free association people take up in the brain from time to time. When that feeling occurs, when that spark happens, it can be the best and worst feeling, something That Time Of Year Always reflects on with an earnestness both incredibly brave and bold, but also haunting in its own right. Yanking up the memories of the individual listener with points of relatable expression, Crawlers have steadied the balance between appealing to their listeners and reacting to their own experiences. Common ground is easy to find, making something of it as Crawlers do here, is the uphill struggle.