The Crowning recently released “Stay,” the first single from their forthcoming self-titled EP. Hailing from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, The Crowning is made up of Micah Martin on guitars and vocals; Ty Nordstrom on bass; and Walter Lee sits in the pocket. And according to a recent announcement, the band just added multi-instrumentalist Ace Hendrix.
Even though together for just a few months, the band exhibits a gorgeously tight sound that’s bereft of any discordant elements, reflecting an innate musical chemistry. Stylistically, the band is billed as rock, amalgamating elements of grunge, punk and funk into their musical style, along with an irascible garage rock extract chock-full of raw, muscular dynamics. The band’s sound exudes influences from Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Propaghandhi, Against Me!, Incubus, Tool, Mars Volta and Led Zeppelin.
The intro to “Stay” consists of a subdued yet elegant guitar riff, followed by the entrance of Martin’s grating, mellow tenor floating over the guitar. Sizzling cymbals herald the appearance of the groove, as the drums and bass enter. Driven by the guitars, initially the melody is laid-back while at the same time radiating a restrained burliness waiting to expand. There’s a vaguely psychedelic/progressive rock flow to the melody, gracious with a reflective grunge undertone. The guitars provide a simple but effective layered shimmer as the melody progresses. The music ramps up as Martin’s vocals assume a ragged edge, akin to a throaty growl. The shimmer of the guitars changes to a thick storm of dense riffs exuding an ozone-like grunge odor, as the reflective undertones advance to the surface. Essentially, the tune transitions from subtle to potent, as if the gods of gravity decided to resume hegemony.
Near the end of the tune, Lee’s drumming acquires a ferocious energy of Thor-like power, adding an insane exhilaration to the music that’s very effective. And Martin’s voice delivers sonic passion both intense and focused, giving the music a raw, rasping dynamism.
The Crowning has it going on! “Stay” represents a relentless musical endeavor resulting in a grunge-laden prog rock melody full of muscular elegance and primitive power. Martin’s vocals impart harsh-textured weight, while the instrumentation is excellent and the production values are clean and crisp. After hearing “Stay” and a snippet from “She’s Running,” I can’t wait for the EP to drop.