The Nathaniel Rateliff vibe I got from Corey Crumpacker’s single “Mirrors” had me intrigued. Although I have to be in the right mood for music like Nathaniel Rateliff, I feel like tonight is the night and I can’t wait to dig into Corey’s new EP ‘Royal Blood’ to see if this vibe reigns supreme throughout the five-song release.
I was so pleasantly happy as “Lone Survivor” kicked off this quick EP and brought that Nathaniel Rateliff vibe right to the table. Now, don’t misunderstand my words, although it has Rateliff vibes, Corey Crumpacker’s sound is all his own and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s a subtle swagger and attitude in his voice but, overall, everything about this opening track (and I’m going to go ahead and assume this entire EP) is full of energy and a very warm vibe. The power behind this opening track reminded me instantly of bands like Imagine Dragons. Snicker if you will, but Imagine Dragons have undeniable energy behind their music and that’s what I was getting from Corey through this track as well. Although so far from the shouting vocals I typically go for, I found myself getting lost in every word Corey sang throughout this opening track.
“Mirrors” is the second track on this album and, as suspected, I fell in love with this track all over again. Even though it’s the longest track at just under five minutes, this song flew by and left me wanting so much more. There’s an almost bluesy and Americana influence throughout this song but there’s also a stomping bass drum that keeps this track moving far faster than I would have liked. Again, I found myself so captivated by not only Corey’s voice but the words that he was singing. The word choice he uses is impeccable and the way he gives each word a different emotion to help enhance the story is truly magical. Complete with a sweltering guitar solo that is just as emotive as Corey’s vocals, “Mirrors” continued to be a favorite track of mine.
Third on this all-too-quick EP is “Tame”. I like how, after the powerful and anthemic vibe of “Mirrors”, “Tame” comes off a bit tamer (see what I did there?). This song is super sweet and tender while still containing Corey’s signature swagger and stunning vocals. There’s an ambiance behind this track that instantly brought me a sense of comfort while also bringing an overwhelming sense of emotion over me. Another stellar story-telling-based track, if you listen to this song and feel nothing in your soul, you may want to check your pulse.
The title track on this release, “Royal Blood”, was another favorite of mine. Although still undeniably anthemic, powerful, and packed with emotion, there’s just something so honest and heartwarming about this track. I’ll be honest, Corey’s overall sound is so much more pop-rock than I ever tend to go but the conviction that comes with every word and every note is more than enough to have me wanting to buy a ticket to his next show. Pure beauty is the name of the game for Corey Crumpacker and it honestly left me lost for words as “Royal Blood” pumped through my house.
Ending this gorgeous and powerful EP is “Dig Your Own Grave”. Although this is more of the same as far as vibe and feeling goes, I found myself still wanting more as this song faded out and left me in complete silence (outside of Artie snoring next to me). Even if you’re like me and swear off pop-rock music by calling it generic and thoughtless, I highly suggest you check out this EP from Corey Crumpacker. He has me questioning all of my previous opinions on this genre and has me pleading with the concert Gods for a live show near me so I can go feel his music live. I honestly can’t even imagine what it would be like to feel these songs live but I will continue to dream of the day I get to experience it until it happens.
My Favorite Track(s): “Mirrors”; “Royal Blood”
For Fans Of: Emotional Power; Swagger and Attitude; Anthemic Yet Comforting Sounds
Daydream-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk and snored; Autumn crept around the kitchen looking for crumbs on the floor
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9.6 out of 10
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