Crowns – Stitches in the Flag album review

Somewhere in the middle of late-90s Blink 182 pop-punk and the folk we hear so often today is one way to describe the sound of Crowns. With enough energy to radiate in any room, Stitches in the Flag is a definite reminder of yesteryear pop-punk but with a very birtish and very contemporary feel. Their jams have those oh-so-familiar anthem-like vocals but instead of the electric guitars and basses, Stitches in the Flag is driven by most things acoustic. Although instances of plugged-in playing are sprinkled here and there, the primary instruments of Stitches in the Flag are the acoustic six-string, the banjo, the mandolin, stand-up bass etc. What results is a pretty tolerable folk-punk that picks from all the best things of Blink 182, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphies, etc. And for those who would find it curious to learn where they are from and how that might affect their sound, Crowns hails from Cornwall London. It would be pointless for me to describe to you how punk and London relate.

Each track on Stitches in the Flag are just brief punches, on average only clocking in at about three measly minutes a song. No worries, though, they all seethe with energy and they do not leave the listener disappointed. Title track and track one, “Stitches in the Flag,” is a definite fight song driven by pride and loyalty. But just after two minutes it’s over and “Four Walls” is the next track, filling the space between your ears with bounce and melody. “My London” proves to be a much needed breather amidst the banging. Crowns slows it down and reminisces of old times and seemingly of their home. “She Gets Me (Where I Wanna Be),” brings the listener back the dance floor and shares the most akin with the older pop-punk we hear from the late ‘90s—at least, according to my ear. By the time “Little Eyes” comes, your neck is a little sore and any aggressive feelings are undoubtedly vexed or dwindling.

For a debut album, Crowns really came to play. It is evident they like their music and their dedication to the energy and upkeep of such an album has set them above the rest. Within a few years, I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise too many to hear their sound polish and come into its own. Until then, however, Stitches in the Flag is worth a spin.

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