Formerly known as the Cheryl Cro(w) Mags, and stepping down from the moniker due, not to litigation from the strumming Lilith Fair-y, this band avoided a potential ass-beating by the recently re-formed Harley and crew (Cro Mags) when they played NYC. Well, what can I say but I’m fucking impressed. I’m predisposed to like it. Say Radon (not the shit that gives you lung cancer, but the Gainesville band that had the dude that draws Milk and Cheese design an early 7″ cover) and Hot Water Music and my ears will perk. I’ll tell you a secret. If you have great guitarists and bassist and a so-so drummer, the band will sound okay, regardless, but if you have a fantastic drummer, which Bill Clower is, the music just propels – it’s meatier, thicker, screamier. And that’s exactly what the Crows are: an ass-beating. When it’s fast, it’s a town riot. When it’s quiet, it’s a quiet, but effective ass-beating. When there’s harmonica, it’s an ass beating with a wind instrument. You get my point. Strangely, they remind me of early west coast punk mixed with a Midwest work ethic, and although they don’t have the broken angularity of Black Flag, they have that no-nonsense, non-thuggie, creative toughness about them, even when they’re joking around (Black Flag had “TV Party,” Crows have “Durty Bunny”). In other words, it’s catchy, but they both create music not by a simple formula, but by instensity and directness with an ear for a imbedded hooks. Very much recommended.