Wed 27th October 2004
One of the highlights of the Everything Went Heavier all-dayer was Birmingham's Crawl Back In. And on a day when nearly every band offered some different and exciting, the fact that they stood out is praise indeed.
Featuring members of Conquest of Steel, Numinor and Hostile, Crawl Back In have released one demo in July last year, produced by Mick Kenny at Birmingham's cult Necrodeath Studios. They formed in December 2002, with Alex Fitzpatrick and Tom Long, both on guitar and vocals, and Chris Mills on drums, only recruiting bassist Alexios Bolpasis in time for their second gig - on an all-dayer alongside heavyweights including Charger, Labrat, Mistress, Palehorse and The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg. Following that they secured a support slot on a Mistress/Palehorse mini-tour - playing in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Nottingham, before appearing on the Everything Went Heavier bill - the last gig with the original line-up.
'Chris Mills has now left the band and moved to Bradford to concentrate on Conquest of Steel, so we are currently drummer-less. If anyone knows a brilliant drummer let us know!', Alex explains.
Influenced by Isis, Old Man Gloom, Pelican and Cult of Luna, with a healthy dose of 70's rock 'n' roll, Crawl Back In's sound can be difficult to describe.
'I guess we write more overt 'riffs' than those bands though...we want to rock! We do have actual songs that (when practiced) last between 5 and 11 minutes. However when we play live we link all songs together to come up with sets that range from 15-30 minutes. I guess you could call it overbearing, or difficult, but we never set out to be an 'easy' band. We do like our pummelling mid-paced riffs, but we also tend to build up moods and atmospheres, leading to many peaks and troughs. I guess we are doomy at times, but we never let an entire song be built upon one 'doomy' mood. We like quiet weird sounds and rocking!'
So, to their Everything Went Heavier gig. Playing at an hour when the beer hadn't had time to sink in for many of the assembled throng, and before the time when other all-dayers tend to fill up, Crawl Back In not only managed to play a great set, but grab the attention of a respectably sized crowd. All this without the vocal input of Fitzpatrick (who had a serious throat infection).
'Well it was shame that Charger pulled out, and it was also a shame that I had to get a train back to Birmingham before My War and 3 Stages of Pain had played...the two bands I really wanted to see! However, I'm not going to be too negative...it was an amazing crowd who seemed to dig us (and watch us more importantly), it was nice to see such a big crowd...that wouldn't happen for a bill like that in Birmingham. I also thought the Bumsnogger boys did a wonderful job organising the whole thing...a big pat on the back there!' Amen to that.
The Birmingham scene appears to be slowly gathering momentum. With bands like Crawl Back In, Godsize and Sonic Lord garnering the attention of many nationwide, England's second city appears to be a productive area right now. At the heart of much of what goes on there is an online community - to be found at www.thecommunion.co.uk. Including reviews, gig dates and an active forum, for bands and fans alike, The Communion covers many genres.
'www.thecommunion.co.uk puts on gigs in and around Birmingham (big ones coming in the summer). We have put on (amongst others) Himsa, Undying, Charger, My War, Palehorse, Mistress, 3 Stages of Pain, Beecher, Johnny Truant, 27 and four million more...
"We are also an online fanzine and community, with the aim to become national, and just build up the underground for everyone regardless of genre. We will also be launching our record label in June with a compilation featuring, among others: Americans Horse the Band, Ed Gein and Abandoned Hearts Club, as well as UK bands including Army of Flying Robots, Mistress, Beecher, Trencher, Decimate and Sika Redem.'
So there you have it. Catch them live, visit the website, see if you can even blag a copy of the demo, join the communion forum and get involved.
Interviews by Pete C.
Thanks to Chris Kaye and Junior Showtime, Alex Fitzpatrick and Crawl Back In, and also all at the Old Angel.