Crawlers – Loud Without Noise

An impressive, succinct coming-of-age statement...

If you had discovered Scouse quartet Crawlers back before COVID-19, you would have heard a powerful, angst-driven punk outfit that were part of the growing DIY indie-punk scene around the city alongside acts like The Mysterines and Gen and The Degenerates. However, in 2022, they are a completely different beast altogether and not even the band themselves could have anticipated the incredible journey that they have experienced in the last two years. 

Their track ‘Come Over (Again)’ almost became Gen-Z’s rebellious TikTok anthem; a two-fingers up to anyone who has done you wrong and it kickstarted a new era for the four of them. They began ditching some of their darker grunge rock tones for more vocal-centered empowering chorus’ and these have connected to a staggering degree with fans from far and wide. Now, this new family of ‘creepy crawlers’ are being rewarded with the band’s first major project, their debut mixtape ‘Loud Without Noise’. 

The mini-album kicks off with the single ‘I Can’t Drive’ which followed up ‘Come Over (Again)’ in perfect style. The smooth yet forceful caress of Holly Minto’s vocals mixed with the deeply toned, tension building drum patterns fantastically set the scene ready for the soaring vocal chorus to come crashing in. After rising to notoriety so quickly with an online hit, it can be easy to become out of your depth musically, yet ‘I Can’t Drive’ is a track that fulfilled every expectation of their new wave of fans with its huge chorus, built for being sung-along to at full volume. Its lyrical nods to their hometown ensure that they stay connected to their roots while the newfound commerciality sets the tone well for this new Crawlers era. 

Neighbouring tracks ‘Feminist Radical’ and ‘Too Soon’ show that their is still a fire-breathing, sinister underbelly to the band that will never go away as the growling bass lines, relentless riffs and unforgiving vocal displays deliver a pure punk punch. The rhythms of ‘I Don’t Want It’ are the most infectious and dance worthy on the mixtape. Its slick, bouncing energy matched with that ever present dark undertone is comparable to some of the most exciting alternative newcomers such as Lime Garden. 

Crawlers – Loud Without Noise

Songs like ‘Fuck Me (I Didn’t Know How To Say) and ‘Hang Me Like Jesus’ further confirm that ‘Come Over (Again)’ was not merely a one-off radio-ready single, but rather the gateway into a sound that is more refined in musicality yet even rawer than before in its thematic realism and lyrical vulnerability. The latter of these tracks is especially poignant in its lyricism and showcases the sheer bravery that the band possesses when it comes to songwriting. The arrangement on this song is perhaps their most impressive to date as the vocal harmonies, and gentle tangle of acoustics meld together for a blissful, Wolf Alice esc ballad that still ends in what is now their trademark anthemic vocal chorus and brings the mixtape to a close in style. 

Filled with a contrasting balance of bitter angst and sonic euphoria, ‘Loud Without Noise’ is the perfect post-break up, mind cleansing antidote to insecurity. Faced with the expectations set brought on by a viral hit, Crawlers have proved that they are more than ready to conquer in this new chapter of their career. ‘Loud Without Noise’ is brave in its honest lyricism and empowering in its sound while still paying homage to the angst-fuelled, punk spirit that first grew them a following. It is a nostalgic mixtape that will make you shed your inhibitions, let go of those social anxieties and, at least for the 20 minute duration, feel a complete freedom that you may not have ever felt. 

8/10

Words: James Booton

-
Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.